Dwane Casey, the former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach who was just the lead assistant and defensive coach for the Dallas Mavericks, is the clear frontrunner for the Toronto Raptors job and may be hired next week.
All that according to tweets from the reliable Marc Stein of ESPN.
Mavs assistant coach Dwane Casey has emerged as clear favorite for Raptors’ job and on course to be hired next week… Raps had narrowed search to Casey and Celts assistant Lawrence Frank but have zeroed in on Casey after interviewing both men this week… Raps in desperate need of defensive culture. Casey just helped DAL install one after years of ridicule. Raps 30th in ’10-11 in D efficiency
Casey deserves another shot. He was 53-69 during a year and a half with the Timberwolves from 2005 to 2007. He was 20-20 at the start of his second season when owner Glen Taylor thought he was not getting enough out of this “very talented” roster in Minnesota (Kevin Garnett then the next best player was Ricky Davis).
They fired Casey. The Wolves went 12-30 the rest of the way.
He’s been a defensive minded assistant in a few places now and had success. But changing the defensive culture in Toronto is going to take more than just bringing in a coach, it’s going to take some personnel changes as well. You think Tom Thibodeau could make the turnaround he did in Chicago without Joakim Noah and some other defensive minded players?
Still, Casey would be a good start to making changes in Toronto.
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)