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Dwane Casey unhesitant in trusting Toronto Raptors coaching staff

From NBA media reports

* On NBA League Pass: Raptors vs. Mavs (7 ET)

In a business where it’s often a deal breaker to show any sign of weakness or uncertainty, Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey is ignoring that conventional wisdom and leaning hard on those around him. Casey’s leadership qualities have never been in question and shouldn’t be, given his track record with the Raptors.

Casey’s methods, though, certainly speak to a particular way of doing business for a Raptors team that sits atop the Eastern Conference standings and owns a league-best six-game win streak heading into tonight’s matchup (7 ET, NBA League Pass) against the Mavericks in Dallas, where Casey toiled before taking over the top job in Toronto. As Doug Smith of the Toronto Star points out, Casey leans on his assistants for all the right reasons:

They gather maybe 20 metres away from the bench during timeouts, Dwane Casey and his in-game Raptors assistant coaching braintrust, debating what’s working and what’s not, what they might do in the moment or later in the game, churning through plays and defensive assignments and what’s being done to them by the night’s opponent.

Sometimes it’s an easy discussion and the time is spent quietly, but sometimes things aren’t going particularly well and there might be a contentious moment or two in the discussion.

“Yes, that’s true — which is good,” Toronto assistant Rex Kalamian said.

“Isn’t that good?”

Almost all the time, yes it is.

The conversation always includes the same four voices: Kalamian, who takes care of the team’s defence primarily; Nick Nurse, who handles most of the offensive adjustments; Jama Mahlalela, who charts playing time, matchups, rotations, and Casey, who holds the ultimate authority.

“I don’t think that he minds a little varying opinions on what we see and what the best action to take is,” Kalamian said. “Case is really good about listening to his assistant and he, obviously, makes the final decision.”

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