Raptors Coach Casey Preaches Tough Defense

** by A.J. Lam **

At the debut of the Raptors’ 2013 season, Coach Casey preaches tough defense as the salvation to the Raptors’ lack of success on the basketball court. With the loss of Andrea Bargnani, the Raptors upgrade its defense but downgrade its offense this year. However, the versatile scorer Rudy Gay, in his first full year as a Raptor, along with a sharper perimeter shooting DeMar DeRozan, may be able to provide enough baskets with the help of some three-pointers plus assists from, now fitter, point guard Kyle Lowry, to complement the hopefully stingier defensive side.

But is this the year that the Raptors want to be playoff contenders at the risk of losing out in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes in the upcoming NBA draft? Already several teams such as Utah Jazz have been disarmed for the race to the bottom of the NBA in order to get a high lottery pick. So with strong support from center Jonas Valanciunas and strong scoring from guard Terence Ross, Coach Casey may get short-term semi-success at the detriment of the Raptors’ long-term success.