Kyle Lowry says Raptors have a lot to fix internally, does not endorse Dwane Casey
The Toronto Raptors are trying to recover from a stunningly swift exit from the playoffs, and point guard Kyle Lowry voiced some frustrations at his exit interview with the media Monday.
The Raptors won the Atlantic Division with a 49-33 record during the regular season and were seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference. Still, they lost Game 1 of their playoff series at home to the Wizards in overtime and then ended up swept out of the playoffs.
Following the disappointing showing, Lowry was clearly frustrated and said changes need to be made.
“There’s a lot of things you can say (publicly), but there’s a lot of things internally that probably need to be fixed,” Lowry said via the Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk.
He was also asked about the status of head coach Dwane Casey and did not use the opportunity to completely endorse the man.
“I respect Case as a man … It’s not my decision. At the end of the day, if he’s the coach, I’m a player,” he said via Feschuk.
Though Lowry didn’t completely endorse Casey, many other Raptors players did.
DeMar Derozan, Amir Johnson and Lou Williams all were complimentary of Casey:
DeRozan: "I know Case gets a lot of flack. Case is a great coach. I've got to give him credit. He pushes day in and day out."
— Dave Feschuk (@dfeschuk) April 27, 2015
Amir on Casey: "He gets better and better as the years go by as a coach"
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) April 27, 2015
Lou Will on Casey: "He’s a motivational coach. He really gets guys going, just as far as getting guys fired up. He’s a very passionate guy."
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) April 27, 2015
Despite questions about his job status, Casey said he expects to return as head coach next season.
“I expect to be back … our staff did a heckuva job working with the players every day. We have nothing to be ashamed of,” Casey said via SportsNet’s Michael Grange.
Casey also said there is nothing bad between him and Lowry.
“Kyle and I are family, you have good times and bad times … there is no animosity or bad feelings in our relationship,” he said via Grange.
Though the Raptors have lost in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row, they have improved each regular season under Casey. They have become one of the better teams in the conference under his leadership and should probably give him another season before re-evaluating. Plus, with Masai Ujiri in charge of the roster, they’ll probably have a few new players to help push them over the top.