Dwane Casey strongly considering benching DeMarre Carroll, Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors have faced their share of struggles throughout the postseason — going down 2-1 to the sixth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round and now in the hole for one game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Head coach Dwane Casey took out center Jonas Valanciunas midway through the series against the Bucks and inserted guard/forward hybrid Norman Powell, which paid splendid dividends in the series, winning the last three outings.
The man at the helm might have to resort to some changes in the lineup again, after getting dominated from end-to-end by the Cavs during Game 1 of the series.
Casey is reportedly “desperate” to find ways to keep up with the Cavaliers’ high-octane scoring and would consider pulling his two least-efficient scorers in DeMarre Carroll and Valanciunas, according to SportsNet Michael Grange.
In their place, he’d insert Powell once again and rookie Jakob Poeltl, who show more signs of activity and flexibility switching between different positions on the court.
The two replacements would provide a more efficient source of shot-making and a dynamic approach of a fluctuating defensive scheme that could keep up with Cleveland’s inside-out gameplan.
More than anything, the Raptors will need an unequivocal sense of urgency throughout the game to steal one on the road and put themselves in an advantageous position — remaining the only way to survive against the reigning champions.