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Dwane Casey claims that the Raptors are “closer” to an NBA title

The 2015-16 season was easily the best in the history of the Toronto Raptors. For the first time, the Raptors fought their way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they were able to win a pair of games before being knocked out by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As a result, the organization decided to extend head coach Dwane Casey for three years. It was rumored that he would be fired if the Raptors had failed to get through the first round, where they ultimately won in a dramatic seven-game series over the Pacers.

Looking forward, Casey is confident that Toronto is only a few steps away from legitimately competing for an NBA championship.

From the press conference to announce Casey’s extension, via ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo:

“We’re closer,” Casey told reporters Tuesday in Toronto during a news conference to announce his contract extension. “But we’re not there yet. There’s still work to be done.”

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Bernard Weil/Getty Images

After a pair of disappointing seasons at the beginning of Casey’s tenure, the Raptors have gone 153-93 over the last three, winning a franchise record 56 games this past year.

A big reason they’ve turned their fortunes around is the development of All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Keeping their core intact will be crucial to Toronto’s continued success.

“It’s not easy. We’ve had some tough times. But to get to where you want to go, you’re going to have to go through those tough times,” Casey said. “Continuity is huge. Our system, the players that have been here, [general manager] Masai [Ujiri] and his staff. The key word is consistent. Guys know what to expect.”

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