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Dwane Casey on his Raptors – ‘The way we played tonight was not us’

Dwane Casey

Things are not looking good right now for head coach Dwane Casey and his top-seeded Toronto Raptors. On Thursday night, the Raptors fell apart in the second half of Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and were routed 128-110 at Air Canada Center to fall behind 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

DeMar DeRozan finished with a team-high 24 points and three assists. His backcourt mate in Kyle Lowry finished with 21 points, four rebounds, and eight assists on the night, but also committed a team-high four turnovers.

“The way we played tonight is not us,” coach Casey said. “Yeah, we had a hangover from the other night, but again, this is the NBA semifinals, and we can’t come out in the third quarter and give up an 18-5 run, no matter what happens, no matter what they’re doing offensively, we’ve gotta keep fighting, keep our heads up, stay together.”

Although the Raptors had a lead, albeit slim, over the Cavs at halftime for the second straight game, they could not keep up with the scoring fury of LeBron James in the second half. The Cavs superstar forward ended his night with 43 points, eight rebounds, and 14 assists on 19-28 shooting. He got a good amount of help tonight, too, with Kevin Love pouring in 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

“I thought the second half was much to do with our offense bogging down and us not keeping the pace going as much as anything,” Casey said. “But again, we’ve got to keep the scoreboard moving as much as possible at the other end.”.

While things may seem very somber right now in The North, coach Casey added that his team still has right now is their pride and believes his team can get back into the series with a Game 3 victory in Cleveland.

“One thing you have is pride,” Casey said. “One thing you have is pride to go into Cleveland and play for pride. I don’t know what the history of down 0-2 is, but one thing I do know is (Thursday) wasn’t us, how we normally play for longer periods of time. We’ll find some answers whether we change the lineup, whatever it is, to keep the offense moving, keep the game moving, and keep the pace going.”

The Raptors will take on the Cavs in Game 3 on Saturday night, which will actually be a do-or-die scenario for them. No team in NBA history have ever come back from an 0-3 hole, so they’ll need to avoid it at all costs.