Casey: Raptors a different team with Joseph, Biyombo

Toronto Raptors all-star Kyle Lowry talks about the importance of the team getting its 50th win of the season.

Dwane Casey will be the first to admit the Toronto Raptors’ success can be tied to the health and production of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, but the team wouldn’t be where it is today were it not for two first-year Raptors.

“I think the surprise that has been brought to the team has been Cory Joseph and Bismack Biyombo,” Casey told Dean Blundell & Co. Tuesday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.

“We appreciate what Pat Patterson does, we appreciate what T-Ross has done, but the addition of Cory Joseph and Bismack Biyombo has been above and beyond. It’s not the glamorous addition. They weren’t the superstars out there that we were recruiting but they were the role players that came in, accepted their role, bring it every night. Every time Cory Joseph walks on the floor, every time Bismack Biyombo walks on the floor they do their job and do it at a high level.”

The Raptors’ strong defensive play is far superior compared to last season with Joseph and Biyombo being major contributors in that area. Biyombo was selected seventh overall by the Kings (later traded to Charlotte) in 2011, while Joseph went 29th to the Spurs that year. Both signed multi-year deals with the Raptors last July.

“Those two guys have come in together collectively and really gave us a shot in the arm with the physicality,” the Raptors head coach explained. “You have to [play with force] to have a successful program.”

Biyombo in particular has been on a hot streak of late. He has registered double-digit rebounds in four consecutive games, including a remarkable 25-rebound effort last week against the Indiana Pacers.

“I don’t think he’s a finished product yet,” Casey added. “I think he’s going to continue to get better, improve as a person and as a player.

The Raptors will look to win their fifth in a row Wednesday when they visit the Boston Celtics. Fans can follow along with our Live Tracker.