Raptors head coach Dwane Casey didn’t want to talk about Toronto’s explosive offence. Every time it was brought up, he’d change the subject. At one point, exasperated by a reporter’s question about one of his player’s scoring, Casey slapped his hand on the podium.
“Fine, offensively, he was fine,” said Casey, again turning the conversation to the Raptors’ defensive failings. “Our attention to detail was not what it should be.”
It was a theme throughout Casey’s post-game news conference. Even though DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 36 points in a 131-112 rout of the Orlando Magic on Monday night for the Raptors’ sixth win in a row, Casey was still not impressed.
“We’ll take the win, but we can’t be happy with our defensive performance,” said Casey. “We have bigger goals in mind and if we intend on achieving them, then we’ve got to have a better mindset then we had tonight.
“We scored what, 60 per cent? 59 per cent from the field? Offence is not the problem. It’s the defensive side that we did not have a focus on tonight.”
DeRozan, who was instrumental in the Raptors’ 73-point first half, their best of the season, knew that Casey was right.
‘We can’t get comfortable’
“We can’t get comfortable because we won a few games,” said DeRozan. “Even tonight we could have played a lot better. We gave up too many points. We still have to stay focused on the defensive end and let that win us games and not have to rely on scoring 130 points.”
Cory Joseph had a double-double with 15 points and 13 assists for Toronto (45-29). Norman Powell’s shooting was lethal for the Raptors, getting 16 points including four three-pointers.
It was a rude homecoming for guard Terrence Ross, who had 17 points for Orlando (27-47). Point guard Elfrid Payton led the Magic with 22 points and nine assists. Ross was drafted by the Raptors eighth overall in 2012. He was traded to the Magic on Feb. 14 with a 2017 first-round pick in exchange for veteran forward Serge Ibaka.