The Toronto Raptors dropped another game, falling to the Philadelphia 76ers 83-93. This drops the Raps to 1-5, and once again were doomed by one horrific stretch. The second quarter of this game was bad on a whole new level: the Raptors were outscored 32-7. The rotation used by Dwane Casey was awful offensively and wasn’t exactly effective defensively either. Once again, Casey’s questionable rotations left the Raps in a tough position, and while they clawed back, it wasn’t enough.
I’m not the only one questioning Casey’s rotations, as several Raptors journalists have picked up on it. Jonas Valanciunas, the most efficient Raptor posting 8-8, played only 20 minutes and sat the entire 4th quarter. Ed Davis, who’s been the best big man off the bench, played 3 minutes tonight. Players such as John Lucas III have been absolutely awful yet continue to log minutes, while effective contributors are glued to the bench. However, the worst thing about Casey’s rotations is his ‘line-changes’ philosophy where he subs out the majority, if not the whole line-up at once. You can’t take out the full starting line-up at once and expect to compete- bottom line is either DeMar DeRozan or Andrea Bargnani need to be on the court for the whole game. Getting point guard Kyle Lowry back will help, because without him the Raptors have looked just as bad as last year- not something they were bench-marking for.
While the Raptors have been quite awful thus far, it’s a bit too early to hit the panic button. The roster is quite new, and the chemistry isn’t 100% yet, and missing Lowry makes a huge difference. Ultimately, the Raps should have around 3 wins right now, but tough luck losses have prevented that. Ideally, the Raps need to win games against teams like the 76ers, but they just aren’t on that level yet.
If they can’t rise up to that level soon, then it may be time to panic. And by panic I mean shake something up, whether it’s a major trade, firing Bryan Colangelo and/or Dwane Casey, or hiring an offensive assistant coach. If this keeps up, Colangelo knows he needs to save his job otherwise he’ll be on the GM market soon enough.
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