Casey warns Raptors: No one can be taken lightly
Oh, this one is fraught with peril for sure.
A Raptors team that has a tendency to play to the level of its opposition far too often – good against good teams, bad against bad teams – gets one with the worst record in the NBA on Friday night and don’t for a second think coach Dwane Casey isn’t worried about the mental stability of his club.
And don’t for a second think he hasn’t mentioned it to them as they prepare to face the 3-26 Charlotte Bobcats at the Air Canada Centre.
It was a big topic for Casey’s media session after shootaround Friday morning, it was a big topic in is shootaround chat with the players.
“I know it’s human nature but I challenged our guys this morning: I don’t care what the record is, who we’re playing, we have to come out the same way,” he said.
“We told our guys, we did a good job of starting the game out the right way (against San Antonio on Wednesday and the Knicks on Tuesday), with a good disposition and now we have do it tonight.”
If you’re looking for news as opposed to purely set up stuff, there isn’t a whole lot.
Jerryd Bayless went through shootaround and they’ll see if his wonky ankle acts up before deciding Friday evening whether or not he’ll play; Linas Kleiza’s sore left knee will keep him out another night; Andrea Bargnani is a no-go.
But it doesn’t matter – or shouldn’t matter – whether Bayless goes or not and whether those other two guys are out.
The Raptors need to be mentally tough enough to take a struggling opponent – the Bobcats have lost 16 in a row – and put them away early and easily.
Charlotte does have some talent – Kemba Walker’s a solid if unproven point guard, D.J. Augustine can score, Boris Diaw may not be the most svelte guy on Earth but he can play and Corey Maggette can get you points in a hurry.
It’s odd that they’ve won just three times given the weird schedule this season – you’d think they’d be able steal one here or there – but they haven’t.
“What their issues are, I don’t know and I really don’t care,” said Casey. “We have our own issues.”