The NBA announced that Toronto Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey has been named the Eastern Conference's Coach of the month for the month of December. After starting the month off 1-4, Casey led the Raptors to an 8-6 record, with six of those wins coming on the road. The team had key road wins against the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder and finished the month winning seven of their last nine games. They also took care of business in their own Division, going a perfect 3-0 against the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks.
Casey has been scrutinized heavily since taking over as Head Coach, but he has shown improvement in his short time with the team. Since the Raptors traded Rudy Gay, the team is 9-3 and Casey seems more comfortable. He has done a better job managing timeouts and seems to have his team buying into playing hard on the defensive end. He also has developed a solid and consistent nine man rotation. The Raptors are definitely playing better team basketball over the last month and some of that success should be attributed to Casey.
The Raptors are 15-15 through 30 games this season and currently lead the Atlantic Division by three games. After winning this award, many eyes will be on Casey to see if he can continue this success and lead his team to a division title. The Raptors have seven games coming up against Eastern Conference teams, two in the division and also games against the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. This stretch will be a great test to see if the Raptors are indeed for real or if they are just on a hot streak.
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