The Toronto Raptors are enduring another season of mediocrity. Leads have been blown, close games have been lost and too many mistakes have been made. The franchise has constantly complained about the way the team is treated in the NBA. They believe the league and the referees don’t give the team a fair shot.
Yes, it’s true that there have been some blown calls in crucial times that have led to some losses. It is also true that the Raptors so-called stars aren’t given the preferential treatment that other players and teams get. Coach Dwane Casey has racked up fines complaining about the referees during his post-game interviews.
Why is it happening?
Could it be that the referees hate Casey and the Raptors? Could it be that the Raptors players themselves have bad attitudes or disrespect the officials? I don’t see that. The league itself doesn’t care if the team does well or not. The league wants American teams to go deep into the playoffs to increase broadcast revenues. The Raptors have a solid deal in Canada, but no one really watches them in America. The league is indifferent to the team as they can always bank on the Air Canada Centre being full, no matter what the team’s record is.
The real reason why the team has been getting the rotten end of the stick is their own doing. Complaints about calls always happen at the end of the game. They always stick out when the team has lost a big lead or when they make mistakes. It always happens when the players are tired with basketball IQ at its lowest.
These issues and situations lie solely on the coach. It is Casey’s fault that the Raptors seem to get robbed game after game. He doesn’t know how to knock the other team out. He doesn’t understand how to manage player rotations. He doesn’t manage the clock well. He doesn’t understand what plays to draw up to score that crucial basket. Most importantly, he doesn’t understand match ups. How many times have you wondered why the Raptors ran a play or how a guy got that wide open?
That is all the responsibility of the head coach. That is Casey.
Casey has a good defensive mind. He was a perfect assistant coach to Rick Carlisle with the Dallas Mavericks. With the Raptors, he is out of his element. He doesn’t manage the game or the team well enough to earn calls from the referees during crunch time. Yes I said earn, because in this league, that is what you have to do with the referees. A call could be made on every single possession. It is up to the referees to decide when to blow their whistle. Unfortunately with Casey’s incompetence at the end of games, the whistles just don’t seem to go the Raptors way.
Other than firing Casey, what would be the best way to circumvent this referee issue and maybe even change it to favor the Raptors? The team needs a closer and with Rudy Gay now, they have one. That is the best way to get around the issue of not being favored by the referees. Have a player that you can trust to put the games out of reach and maybe even draw the crucial calls. Gay has earned that respect from the league and its’ referees.
Now that Gay is in the fold, it’s up to Casey. He needs to be a better coach. He needs to stop complaining and piling up fines. The team has the players it needs to win. It’s time for Casey to fulfill all the faith he has been given by general manager Brian Colangelo.
If he doesn’t step up he will soon be forced to step down. And if that happens, it will be his second firing as a head coach in the league, and most likely his last.
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