Raptors playing dumbbell defence these days

Coach Dwayne Casey speaks to media during Raptors practice at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto, Ont....

Coach Dwayne Casey speaks to media during Raptors practice at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto, Ont. on April 10, 2014. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:23 PM ET

Dwane Casey preaches defence, teaches defence, is a defensive-first head coach, but seldom goes on the defensive when the subject gets broached.

No matter how many wins this Raptors group produces in the season’s final four, regardless of opponent in the NBA’s opening round, nothing will be gained if stops aren’t made, if rotations aren’t executed, if a mind-set does not change.

“If we haven’t taught defence by now, we shouldn’t be coaching,’’ began Casey on Thursday following his team’s workout. “It’s a mind-set right now, it’s a focus.”

Casey has been around the NBA block long enough to know how players and teams go about their business this time of the basketball calendar, a time when ballers are playing for contracts, when teams heading to the draft lottery are auditioning players for next year.

Only the few elite sustain their level of play, playing a championship-calibre defence devoid of slippages.


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