For much of the season, the Toronto Raptors looked like they could barely win an inter-squad game, let alone a regular season contest. But after going on a dismal losing streak, dropping 12 of 13 games, the Raptors have begun to turn things around.
The team has won four straight games and head coach Dwane Casey is starting to see some positive steps being made by his team.
“At this time last week everyone had us dead and buried,” Casey told Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Thursday. “You’re never bad as you think you are; you’re never as good as you think you are.”
Casey said one of the biggest differences during the team’s current win streak has been has been strong play in their own end.
“Getting back to a defensive mindset was key,” Casey said. “We weren’t the defensive team we were last year. … The last couple weeks (the players) bought in. They’re diving into the defensive schemes that we put in.”
The team is coming off a 97-91 win over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday and although it was far from a perfect outing, they picked up the win and Casey saw the importance of that.
“I saw belief in their eyes, belief in each other,” Casey said.
Coincidently, the win streak began when Andrea Bargnani went down with an injury. Casey said he doesn’t think the two are necessarily connected, but Bargnani’s absence has given others like Ed Davis a chance to shine.
“With Andrea going down, (Davis) sees this as an opportunity,” Casey explained. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence. Ed’s confidence has soared and it will continue to soar the more minutes he gets.”
The Raptors will look to extend their win streak to five games on Friday as they host the Orlando Magic.