NEW ORLEANS - The relationship between a head coach and his players is key to any winning environment.
It can be the difference between a playoff team and one continually spinning its wheels.
On the Raptors there may not be a more pivotal relationship than that between Dwane Casey and point guard Kyle Lowry.
Like a football head coach and his quarterback or a baseball manager and his catcher, the relationship between a basketball coach and his point guard supersedeas all others.
Casey, a former point guard himself before his coaching days began is only too aware of this.
He believes too much was made of a perceived rocky start between himself and Lowry, who in his second year has become the straw that stirs the Raptors drink.
As the point guard, Lowry sets the tone for the entire team and as such must be not just on the same page with his head coach but be an extension of him on the floor.