TORONTO, ON–Just days before the NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors have announced that Dwane Casey has been signed as the new head coach of the team with a three year contract. Casey will be leaving his post as assistant coach of the Dallas Mavericks to undertake in his second head coaching job in his NBA career.
Previously, Casey coached the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2005-2006. Through one and a half seasons, Casey coached the T-wolves to a 53-69 record before being let go.
The Dallas Mavericks enlisted his services in the 2008-2009 season, and Casey has been attributed with introducing the defensive schemes that allowed the Mavericks to overcome the dominant Lakers and Heat offences in the playoffs.
At the Press conference, Bryan Colangelo called Casey “the chief architect of the world champion Dallas Mavericks.”
Casey is a coaching veteran in the NBA. He began his career with the Seattle Supersonics in 1985, helping lead the team to four division titles. He left the Supersonics in 2004 to pursue his first head coaching job with Minnesota.
In his introductory remarks, Dwane Casey said, “there are so many areas we want to get to work on, develop, improve on, but the number one thing is creating a defensive identity and creating an atmosphere of hard play.”
Casey will have the difficult job of molding the Raptors into a defensive unit. There are several players on this team that are in need of major defensive improvements. With Casey being a defensively minded coach, he should help nurture a disciplined attitude with this young Raptors team that allowed an average of 105.4 points per game last season.
It will not be an easy job, but if the Raptors are going develop, and foster a winning style of basketball, it will all start on the defensive end.
NPH will have continued coverage on what Dwane Casey will bring to the Raptors, and how he can help develop this young squad into a playoff team.
Credit to NBA TV Canada for quotes from the live Toronto Raptors press conference.
Photo Credit: Bill Frakes/SI, Rocky Widner, NBAE via Getty Images