Detroit Pistons: A defense of head coach Dwane Casey

Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Dwane Casey
Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /

Coach Dwane Casey, a former recipient of the Coach of the Year award, is now once again facing early termination. We’re only 11 games into the NBA season, and some people are asking for his head on a spike.

It’s hard to defend him when the team’s numbers in these early games have been so bad, but it’s not entirely clear if he’s the one to blame. Detroit is still very young, and the rebuild is still very much in progress. Not to mention the team is operating without several of its solid role players, including a reliable scorer and glass cleaner last year in Marvin Bagley III.

But that hasn’t stopped some from picking him as the next head coach to be fired:

Casey is clearly being given some leeway considering these challenges, but should he be on the hot seat after a 3-8 start?

Detroit Pistons: Dwane Casey is a great coach

The rebuild (while slow) is on the right track, though from the outside looking in it just looks like a bad ball club with a bad coach at the helm.

This is far from true, If anything the Detroit Pistons should be looked at as the next group of young stars with Casey playing the “Master Splinter” role.

The same way many people credit Brad Stevens for coaching Tatum and company into the NBA Finals runner ups, Casey should be looked at as the main reason these Pistons players have begun to reach their full potential.

He has experience with young budding prospects, as he’s helped to develop current stars like Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Jonas Valanciunas, all of whom give ample amounts of credit to the leadership of coach Casey.

Related Story. Is Dwane Casey right about Killian Hayes. light

Also, While working in Toronto he set multiple franchise records and won the Atlantic Division year after year. In his final season he led them to their only 59 win season in team history as well as their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance.

Although he had little playoff success, most teams in the East that had to face off against a LeBron led team also had “little playoff success”. Some people give Nurse credit for getting the Raptors over the hump, others give it all the Kawhi Leonard.

However, most people (including Masai Ujiri the President of Basketball Operations in Toronto) are aware that Casey helped set the foundation for a championship contending team, which is exactly what he is trying to do in Detroit.

As the story goes, Dwane was fired by the Raptors begrudgingly, and then a team stationed only four or so hours away called him up and requested his services. Upon arriving to Detroit he coached them well, and in turn they were once again in the playoffs after a two-year absence.

Many figured it was only up from there, as his team overachieved all that year. The owner and the GM raved about Casey’s coaching ability, and his leadership. This is something that if you walked around the league and interviewed executives and players alike you would hear a lot of. Casey is not only a great coach but a well respected one at that.

He’s proven that he can develop talent and win when he has the right team. And would firing him now really even make a difference?