Title: Firing Dwane Casey Is a Difficult But Justifiable Move for Toronto Raptors
Date: May 11, 2018
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: In my latest for Vice, I wrote about the Raptors firing Dwane Casey, a difficult but justifiable move.
Masai Ujiri’s latest and most dramatic move was surely his most difficult. On Friday, the Toronto Raptors announced that Dwane Casey has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach.
This choice could not have come easy to Ujiri, who on Wednesday declined to offer a firm vote of confidence, wanting once again—for the third time in the last four years—to get the benefit of a cool-down period following a tough postseason loss before making a call. And therein lies the reasoning for Casey’s dismissal, surely: The Raptors have been unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs via a sweep three times in the last four years, and have been bounced by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in three consecutive postseasons.
This is not entirely the fault of Casey. Far from it, surely. Casey hardly coached his best series against the Cavaliers this year, making too few, too slow, and too ineffective adjustments in a series where two of the four games tilted on the tiniest of margins. If there’s a criticism that can still stick to Casey after all of his growth and improvement, it’s these micro areas of coaching that are at the same time the easiest and most magnified to the watching eye and the most subject to the variance of shot-making, tiny samples, and the execution of the players involved. It’s those micro areas, though, where Casey’s candidacy to retain his job wasn’t the complete home run it was at a more macro, 365-day level.