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In position to coach All-Star Game, Dwane Casey has Toronto Raptors near the top of the East

Veteran coach hopes to see more competitive All-Star Game in Los Angeles

From NBA media reports

It’s good to see Dwane Casey about to get some long overdue love. He’ll coach in the All-Star Game (and against his Raptors players DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry) if the Raptors win once between now and Feb. 4 (book it) and it’s a testament to his run in Toronto, which has been filled with lots of highs, very few lows and still awaiting a chance to play for a title.

The Raptors have shown to be a stubbornly good team under Casey, especially the last few years, which saw DeRozan become a major scorer and Lowry one of the best point guards in basketball. It’s a backcourt that once again has the Raptors among the top three teams in the East, but Toronto is more than just a pair of guards; a more balanced offense and improved defense might give the Raptors their best shot, maybe ever, to reach the NBA Finals.

The All-Star Game, therefore, will shine some light on the job Casey’s doing in Toronto and obviously raise questions about whether the Raptors, in light of the Cavs’ struggles and Boston missing Gordon Hayward, have an opening this spring.

As for the All-Star Game, Casey feels your pain. He’d like to see a more competitive contest and recently spoke to the Toronto Sun’s Frank Zicarelli about it:

Casey knows fans quickly tune out all-star games when they see what can best be described as a garbage-time tipoff.

“People are watching and saying: ‘This isn’t basketball,” Casey said.

“People already have a bad outlook on the (all-star game) anyway. They don’t play, the coaches just roll out the ball, there’s no coaching, there’s no fundamentals or anything. They just play one-on-one basketball.

“Competition helps everyone. It’s good for our league for those games to be competitive and not to get anybody hurt. It’s got to be more competitive or I think somebody will get hurt the way it’s been going.”

Kudos for Casey for telling it like it is. And more kudos for putting the Raptors in position to do something significant when the playoffs approach.