Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has been put in an extremely unenviable position as he tries to guide his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have had their abilities banished to the Negative Zone, Jonas Valanciunas is out with a knee injury, and his most reliable scorer is Cory Joseph. Casey’s been served a big shit sandwich, but all he’s done during this series with the Heat is cook himself a side of piss fries.
There are a great many decisions from this series that one could point to as evidence that Casey is either in over his head or trying to coach himself out of the league, but let’s keep it relatively simple. In Game 2, Heat point guard Goran Dragic hit a three to tie the game at 86 with 10 seconds remaining. Casey called a timeout and drew up a play for his team, which would get the final shot in regulation. This is how that shot went down:
That shot was, you know, not optimal. The good news for Casey is that last night’s Game 4 brought a chance for redemption. After Dwyane Wade’s clutch layup tied the game at 83 with just over 12 seconds to play, Casey called a timeout and once again found himself with the opportunity to draw up the final play of regulation. Somehow, this is what he came up with:
I mean, just what the hell is that? Either Casey’s end-of-game playbook is just an index card with “score a hoop” written on it, or his players are completely ignoring his instructions in crunch time. Neither scenario makes him seem like a coach who is fit to lead a playoff team, especially one with as many deficiencies as these Raptors. A team doesn’t need to be perfect to make a spirited playoff run, but it at least needs to be talented or smart. Right now, Dwane Casey and the Raptors are neither of those things.