Atlantic Notes: Casey, Smart, Celtics, Nets

Dwane Casey made his return to Toronto on Wednesday, guiding the Pistons to a 106-104 victory over the Raptors in his first game back since being fired as Toronto’s coach. The Raptors made the surprising decision to let go of Casey after his team was swept by the Cavaliers in the spring.

“Nobody likes getting fired,” Casey told Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “If anybody expects you to like who fired you or be happy with that, that’s not realistic. The fans are some of the best fans in all of sports, whether it’s soccer, baseball or basketball.

“From that standpoint, there are no hard feelings, but you always have a (figurative) two-by-four on your shoulder for the person who fired you when you were doing well.”

Casey’s peers believed he was doing well, voting for him to win the Coach of the Year award around the time he was dismissed from Toronto. Wednesday’s victory could signify a sense of revenge against his former team.

“It is specifically pointing the finger at me — and that’s their prerogative,” Casey said. “They said I was the problem. I know what we did over a seven-year period there and starting from the rebuilding, developing and in the lottery to where they are now.

“They can’t take that away. A lot of people can take credit for all the good and put all the bad on me — and that’s fine.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic division tonight:

  • The Celtics could benefit from starting Marcus Smart, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. “I’d like to see us find some consistency at some point,” head coach Brad Stevens said. “I think that it’s not consistent, whatever our issues are.” The Celtics have started the 2018/19 season with an 8-6 record.
  • Kyrie Irving downplayed his call for the Celtics to sign another veteran, explaining his comments to the media this week. “I wasn’t speaking about anyone specific,” Irving said, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “I just was speaking to like a vet that’s been through a championship run, through championship runs, that’s able to be patient with this team as well as understand what we’re going through of just figuring out the pieces and how they mesh well together.” Celtics general manager Danny Ainge claimed he hasn’t spoken to Irving about his comments.
  • Nets training camp invitee Mitch Creek is continuing to pursue his dream of becoming an NBA player, as relayed by NetsDaily. Creek, 26, called the Nets “an elite program everywhere you go” and praised the coaching staff, performance team and others. He currently plays for the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate.
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16 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Casey, Smart, Celtics, Nets

  1. mitchrapp

    Stop crying uncle drew you wanted to be the main attraction now you need a veteran?

    • the dude

      I mean, a vet presence to a team that has a lot of second years and rookies would be better than keeping jabari bird on the roster.

      • Surely Baynes, Horford, Morris and Irving are enough, in terms of vets?!
        Baynes even has a ring.

  2. “The fans are some of the best fans in all of sports, whether is soccer, baseball or basketball.”

    Whoops, he didn’t mention hockey. That might not endear Casey to Torontonians, not so much.

  3. Casey clearly took getting fired hard, and I’m sure most people would. But the bottom line is he didn’t get it done year after year in the playoffs with a talented team. I know Bron was in the East, but still…

  4. I think Kyrie might be thinking of Kyle Korver. Kyrie and Marcus Morris have been their only good 3 point shooters so far. Tatum. Brown, Hayward, Rozier, and of course Smart have been struggling with their perimeter shot. The Cavs asked Boston for a 1st round pick earlier. Try again.

  5. Loren Polonsky

    Casey is a great coach but a better human being. He accomplished a lot for the Raptors’ franchise, but the writing was on the wall after their quick exit from the playoffs (again). Pleased to see Nick Nurse excelling – had a long conversation with him during summer league and he’s as down to earth as they come. Both guys should have long coaching careers.

    • diller79

      I would have liked to see Casey get a chance to coach the team with Kawhi and Lebron not in the east

      • Good call. I mean, did you see Derosen and how he closed out the game last night with the Spurs versus the Clippers?

        Typical DeRozan drove… dribbling off his leg, lost the ball out of bounds, shot at a win over.

        He was Casey’s closer for 5 years. No chance at winning a big game with him as you’re closer.

  6. Loren Polonsky

    I have to agree. After the playoff loss, I predicted that DeRozan would be moved. Fans here in TO were mortified when it happened. Now with Kawhi on board, there’s a different “feel” to this team. It’s hard to explain, but there is more of a swagger and intensity than I’ve seen in the past. I don’t attribute that to the loss of Casey – I pin it more on moving on from DeRozan.

    • Exactly !

      I heard one guy saying this about a player.

      “He can get you 25 but he can’t get you two.”

  7. C-Daddy

    I always liked Dwane Casey but he needs to get over it – his teams always horribly underperformed in the playoffs and his dismissal was justified. Maintaining the status quo wouldn’t have made sense.

  8. Frank loiko

    The Celtics need an enforcer-rebounding big man, but ever since Tree Rollins bit him he seems to afraid of a BIG MAN. Danny has done a great job so far, but he still needs to do a little tweaking in order to win it all.

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