DETROIT - There have been many examples of playoff-like basketball over the past week around the NBA.
This wasn’t one of them.
When the winning team shoots 36.6%, you know it’s not anywhere near classic status.
About 75 minutes before tipoff, Casey conducted his regular pre-game meeting with the media.
Among the topics was the successes of the season, which in Toronto’s case was getting its defence to a point where it wasn’t sieve-like.
Mission accomplished, and no small feat, but Casey admitted it did come at the cost of the Raptors offence which was further stunted when Andrea Bargnani went down.
Stunted didn’t begin to describe the offence from either team last night.
While he liked his team’s defensive effort, there was simply no rhythm to its offence.
“We’ve got Gary Forbes playing out of position,” Casey said of his thrust into duty back-up point guard. “Bless his heart, we’ve got Solo (Alabi) trying to catch and move the ball, he hadn’t done it a lot this season and that was part of our 17 turnovers. That said, I really liked the fight and hustle. They had their starters in there at the end and our guys played through it.”
Midway through he second quarter there was some question whether either team would break the 60-point barrier.
“Those games (with two teams playing out the string) go either one of two ways,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. “Either it’s 130-126 or it’s this and we will take this.”
It was also easy to suspect lottery balls might have been a little more on the mind of both teams with neither DeMar DeRozan nor Brandon Knight on the court for the final half of the fourth and final quarter.
In light of the Raptors 76-73 loss, the Raptors will now head into the draft lottery with a better chance at the No. 1 pick than the Pistons.
The best the Raptors can do is match the Pistons 24 wins and the Pistons won the head-to-head series.
Were the season to end today, the Raps would have the sixth best chance at first pick. But with two games still to play there’s still room for plenty of movement on that front.
CASEY’S WISH LIST
As far as Casey is concerned, he has seen enough of his team this year to know what he has and what he lacks.
“I have a good feeling for what we need,” Casey said. “They (Bryan Colangelo and Ed Stefanski) have a list as long as the country of Canada as far as our needs and names and stuff like that. The key now is to make sure we use our cap flexibility the right way.
“I don’t know the names as well, but I have a great feel for what we need team-wise and going forward.”
What Casey would like to see over the final few games is some of his players in situations they aren’t totally comfortable in and haven’t been in with a lot of regularity this year.
“Just different situations,” he said. “See Eddie (Davis) more in the post up. Maybe James Johnson and Alan Anderson running some pick and rolls, just to see what we can do in those situations.”
BE LIKE MOOSE
Greg (Moose) Monroe is what Casey would like to see Davis become. He also wouldn’t mind some of Monroe rubbing off on DeRozan.
Not necessarily style of play but body type. Monroe hit the weight room in the off-season and put on between five and seven pounds of muscle. Casey seemed to think Monroe might have added a little more bulk than that but the improvement he sees in Monroe’s game, this year from last is what he would like to see out of both Davis and DeRozan next season.
“He did a great job with his body (last summer) and that’s something we are challenging Ed Davis and DeMar to do with theirs,” Casey said. “He has got some (added) bulk but he didn’t lose his athleticism and agility. He came back with that purpose in mind and he’s showing it in the paint. He’s taking contact and he’s dishing it out and still finishes the play. That’s what you hope for with a young player that is looking for strength and he did that.”
An NBA game played in front of fewer fans than were in attendance for most of the Ottawa Rough Riders games in the Lonnie Glieberman era ... Fans cheering the for the end of the first half so they could see 50-year-old M.C. Hammer perform at halftime