(Photo Credit: USA Today via Reuters/David Richard)
The Toronto Raptors regular season was filled with excitement, consistency, and optimism coming into the postseason. Head coach Dwane Casey completely changed the Raptors style of play from isolation play to the ball flying around the three-point line. Assists skyrocketed, and the wins increased, all with stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan's minutes decreasing from last year.
The optimism hit a small hurdle as the Raptors had close encounters with the Washington Wizards in Round 1 of the playoffs. Word on the wire was that the Wizards were not your usual eighth seed team with John Wall returning for the playoffs, but the Raptors took care of business, only to face their nemesis and consequent kryptonite in the second round.
The Raptors faced a LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers team for the third consecutive year. Expectations were high, with many predicting a Raptors victory in six games, but after Game 1, everything changed. A close loss saw the Raptors players noticeably deflated, and that sinking feeling carried through the next three games as the Raptors were swept.
A disappointing end to an incredible regular season has taken its toll on the team and resulted in GM Masai Ujiri parting ways with Casey. Has Casey been hard done by? Has he been a scapegoat for the players who didn't perform on the big stage?
Let's take a look.