The talk of the town since he was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies at the end of January, Rudy Gay’s arrival in Toronto has reinvigorated the Raptors as the Dinos have won three of their first five games with him on the roster. While there is a lot of talk surrounding Gay’s on-court performance — he has led the team in scoring in each of his first five games — head coach Dwane Casey told Tim and Sid on Sportsnet 590 The Fan that his impact goes far beyond the hardwood.
“The vibe’s different, everyone’s more upbeat now but I thought that was going on before Rudy came because guys could see what we were talking about from a coaching standpoint,” Casey told said. “But now when Rudy comes in he makes everybody’s job easier. He makes DeMar’s job easier, he makes Kyle’s job easier especially on the offensive end.”
“The confidence level has gone up, especially on the offensive end and I think that has transferred onto the defensive end.”
Now, in the midst of a two-game winning streak and fresh off the heels of a 102-89 home win against the New Orleans Hornets, Casey says that the Raptors must maintain their physical play
and defensive presence in the weeks ahead.
“The main thing we must do is get better defensively,” Casey said. “We’ve got to maintain our defensive mindset, our defensive focus going forward.”
While Gay’s arrival has brought a newfound sense of optimism to Raptors fans, there have been numerous reports that suggest general manager Brian Colangelo is constantly looking to acquire another player before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
So what would Casey like to see added to his squad?
“I don’t know what that piece is…but if we could add one thing (it could be to) our toughness factor,” he said. “It could be a tough perimeter guy that defends and does the dirty work but also the other one could be our three-point shooting. We need to improve our three-point shooting.”
“The toughness factor on the defensive end, or a rebounder or something like that to add to our guys we have will be something we have to look at.”