Everything seems to be going right for the Toronto Raptors at present. The team is currently on a five game winning streak and remain on top of the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 12-2.
And these aren’t just mid-table teams they’re beating either. The Grizzlies, Cavaliers and OKC have all been beaten by this confident, talented Raptors squad.
The Raptors roster are dialled in this year and continue to win games as a unit night after night. Guys like DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry continue to improve under head Coach Dwayne Casey. DeRozan is posting an average of 20 points per game, which is good enough for 17th in overall player rankings. The team’s top line of DeRozan, Lowry, Ross, Johnson and Valanciunas has done extremely well so far this season. But credit must also go to Coach Casey.
Credit to Casey
This guy has revolutionized the Toronto Raptors' style of play. He’s continually focused on a strong defensive system. The Raptors haven’t achieved this goal yet, but are well on their way to becoming a more defensive-minded team.
As a result, the team has enjoyed incredible success this season. The Raptors have come from behind by as many as 18 points to win games. This is because Casey has taught this players to have a never say die attitude.
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Casey hasn’t been afraid to yell at his players in order to wake them up and get a response. He’s not afraid to shake things up by using his bench players either.
He’s given guys like Lou Williams, Tyler Hansbrough and Patrick Patterson a chance to change the momentum of a game and it’s paid off on several occasions.
The best example of this was when Casey subbed in Chuck Hayes against the Grizzles. Hayes was able to use his size to halt attacks and draw fouls and ultimately win the game. Those key time outs and substitutions made by Casey in recent games have led to Toronto victories.
These tactical changes within games also pinpoint the incredible amount of depth that Casey has within his squad right now. He has the perfect mix of youth and experience and the statistics reflect that so far this season.
DeRozan and Lowry have been averaging tremendous numbers and Lou Williams continue to make an impact from the bench. The Raptors next game is against the Hawks in Atlanta. Toronto beat the Hawks in the first game of the season but struggled throughout the game.
I can’t wait to see if the Raptors can beat them again and claim their first six game winning streak since 2009.