Barring a historic comeback, the Raptors will lose to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and that could spell the end of the Dwane Casey era.
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reports that, "Executives around the league anticipate that the Raptors will make a coaching change, though there are no guarantees after Toronto’s success this regular season."
Translation: Toronto was really good in the regular season, with the best record in the Eastern Conference — a feat that could earn him NBA Coach of the Year honors. But that might not be enough, given the Raptors are on the brink of being eliminated from the playoffs by the Cavaliers for the third straight season. Cleveland leads the Eastern Conference semifinals, 3-0, heading into tonight's game in Cleveland.
It seems hard to believe the Raptors would give up on Casey after the team won a franchise record 59 games and earned the No. 1 playoff seed for the first time. But in pro sports today, it's not, "What have you done for us lately?" It's "What can you do for us going forward?"
There's growing sentiment that Toronto has gone as far as it can go under Casey. As O'Connor notes, "If the goal is to not just hang division banners, but to win trophies, then further changes must be made."
So despite a 320-238 regular-season record in seven seasons, Casey finds himself on the hot seat. By the way, he is 21-29 in the the postseason with the Raptors.
If Casey is dismissed, one intriguing candidate to replace him is former NBA star Jerry Stackhouse, currently coach of the Raptors' G League team.
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