Smith: Dwane Casey Firing Is Pure Comedy

Casey, the NBA's Coach of the Year, led Toronto to a franchise-record 59 wins this season

The DA Show
May 11, 2018 - 12:09 pm

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Despite leading the Toronto Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the East, a franchise-record 59 wins, and the second-best record in the NBA, Dwane Casey was fired Friday. Toronto’s win total improved in six of Casey’s seven seasons, but that wasn’t enough to save his job after getting swept by Cleveland in the second round of the playoffs.

“Wow, that’s pure comedy,” NBA TV analyst Sekou Smith said on The DA Show. “I don’t know what would lead anybody to believe Dwane Casey was the reason they stumbled on that big stage. Look at his stars and look how they performed and ask yourself: Was that something he could have fixed? Or was that a personnel problem that his stars could not find their way to play better than they did on the biggest stage?”

DeMar DeRozan averaged just 16.8 points on 43.9 percent shooting from the floor against Cleveland, this after averaging 23.0 points on 45.6 percent shooting during the season. He was benched in the fourth quarter of Game 3, which Toronto lost, 105-103, in Cleveland. DeRozan shot 3-of-12 in that game and finished with eight points.

And now Casey is paying the price.

“I think that’s a travesty,” Smith said. “I really do. It makes a mockery of the coaching profession at the NBA level. You can win at that level, the highest level – finish with the No. 1 seed in the East – and stumble in the playoffs, and that somehow costs you your job. That’s just ridiculous. Unbelievable that he would get Coach of the Year one day and get handed the pink slip the next.”

Unfortunately, Casey’s dismissal is par for the NBA course.

“It’s an unforgiving business,” Smith said. “But if Toronto thinks they got a coach out there that’s going to take that same group to the next level, I want to see who it is. I’m very curious to see who they think will get them to the next level.”