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Atlantic Notes: Casey, Knicks, Towns

Raptors fans should hope that the team reportedly bringing coach Dwane Casey back for another season means that the franchise will allow him to finally put his stamp on the team, Eric Koreen of The National Post writes. For Casey’s system to succeed, he will need GM Masai Ujiri to add a few more capable perimeter defenders, and a mobile power forward to negate some of center Jonas Valanciunas’ natural limitations in the perimeter dominated NBA, Koreen adds.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Casey understands he needs to make adjustments on both the offensive and defensive end, Koreen writes in a separate piece“I take accountability not establishing the offensive style of play we should have. … We had a false sense of security because we were winning playing that way after DeMar [DeRozan] went down,” Casey said after the season ended. “We never got back to our roots defensively. We never could get the horse back in barn.”
  • Fran Fraschilla, ESPN’s NBA draft analyst, believes Karl-Anthony Towns might be a better choice than Jahlil Okafor for the Knicks, Ian Begley of writes. “[Town is] not as ready-made as Okafor may be offensively, but he’s got tantalizing shot-blocking potential and he’s developing into a low-post scorer,” Fraschilla said. “… He’s the grand slam and Okafor is the home run.”
  • If the Knicks are looking for young, affordable players to develop, Begley (on Twitter) suggests that they take a look at D-League standout Eric Griffin.  The 6’8″ swingman averaged 19 PPG and 6.6 RPG last season for the Texas Legends.

Eddie Scarito and Zach Links contributed to this post.

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