Dwane Casey wants to give DeMar DeRozan more time at point guard

Eric Smith and Michael Grange discuss what C.J. Miles adds to the Toronto Raptors and the plan for Jonas Valanciunas.

Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said Tuesday that he has plans to give DeMar DeRozan more time at point guard during the 2017-18 season.

“We got to have a better mentality of ball movement, man movement and spacing,” Casey said on Wednesday while on The Andrew Walker Show on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

“DeMar DeRozan, have him handle the ball a bit more as a point guard, a facilitator, a passer. Kyle Lowry moving the ball a bit more, spacing up. We don’t want to give our whole ‘what we’re going to try to do next year’ away, but again it comes down to passing the basketball and better spacing more so, than we know, one-on-one play.”

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DeRozan proved himself as a capable and willing facilitator when Lowry was out for a 20-game stretch during the 2016-17 season. The three-time all-star shooting guard averaged 4.4 assists over that stretch, which would set a career-high if compared to his regular season statistics.

Casey also said that he’s not going to shy away from allowing DeRozan to create in the mid-range in iso situations, knowing it helps him draw fouls. But the focus is clear: the Raptors are looking to create more ball movement.

“Everyone and their brother knows we want better ball movement,” said Casey.

Conversation about the Raptors’ lack of ball movement started earlier in the week when former Raptor DeMarre Carroll made comments about their iso-heavy offence, along with remarks about trust issues in the locker room. Casey responded Tuesday, saying that the Raptors aren’t dysfunctional and that his comments were “overblown.”

While Casey did admit that he wants to see more ball movement, he also wants to see his team compete with an edge once again.

“We want to get that edge back, get that two-by-four I call it back on our shoulder, where you’re feeling hungry again,” said Casey. “I thought last year from a media standpoint, team standpoint, playing standpoint, coaching standpoint, front office standpoint, we got a little complacent. A little soft, so to speak. We’ve got to get that edge back to compete for a championship.”


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