Casey wants young players to be who they are

The Sports Xchange

It is little more than a piece of human nature that Dwane Casey is trying to change with his Raptors.

The team's consistent failing at key moments in close games -- the Raptors are continually committing costly turnovers and missing tough shots at key moments in tight games -- comes from the young players simply trying to do too much.

Casey knows the normal reaction for athletes is to press the issue and to try to make the big, memorable play. He wants to spend the last part of the regular season making sure they all calm down.

"If you're a post-up player, be a post-up player; if you're a 3-point shooter, 3-point shoot," he said.

"Don't try to do something else and that's what we have to recognize at the crucial time of the game, that three-minute stretch, that two-minute stretch when we just can't get anything going," Casey added.

"I think we try to do a little bit too much and try to expand our game when we really need to simplify our game."

That's led to repeated downfalls for the Raptors, who not only go through costly lapses in the middle of fourth quarters but are 3-18 in games that have been within five points with a minute to go.

It has been Casey's toughest task this season and the biggest challenge he faces is making sure the players know what to do when, without doing too much, so the game becomes more simple for them.

The Raptors did a lot right on Wednesday as they pounded the Rockets 116-98. Their next game is Saturday at Detroit.

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