Casey confident in Raptors on the road

NEW YORK — If Dwane Casey has any concerns coming to Brooklyn, they aren’t about his players. The Toronto Raptors have already proven they can handle the road just fine. As for his boss, general manager Masai Ujiri, who figures to hear an earful Friday night?

NEW YORK — If Dwane Casey has any concerns coming to Brooklyn, they aren’t about his players.

The Toronto Raptors have already proven they can handle the road just fine.

As for his boss, general manager Masai Ujiri, who figures to hear an earful Friday night?

“I told him I wasn’t going to sit next to him or anything like,” Casey said Thursday, “but he’s fine. He’s seen a lot, so he’s going to be OK.”

Casey is confident his young Raptors will be as well when they face the Nets in Game 3 of their first-round series, which is tied at one game apiece.

Some of the best action came before it even started. Ujiri ended his comments at a rally before Game 1 in Toronto with an expletive about Brooklyn, earning a $25,000 fine from the NBA.

The lost money may be the least of Ujiri’s concerns if some of Brooklyn’s most passionate fans spot him in the Barclays Center crowd.

“Very, very eager to see how they respond to the ’F Brooklyn,”’ Nets centre Kevin Garnett said. “Very, very eager to see how they respond to this kid.”

The Nets are counting on the usual home boost in a building where they were unbeatable for two months during the regular season. Brooklyn won a franchise-record 15 straight games, tied for the longest home winning streak in the NBA this season, in February and March before dropping two down the stretch after they had clinched a playoff spot.

Yet home-court advantage hasn’t meant much in this post-season, where Chicago and Houston both fell into 2-0 holes in their own arenas, so the Nets realize they can’t rely too much on it.

“We understand that this is not going to be easy by any means,” Nets veteran Joe Johnson said.

“You just look around throughout the playoffs, a lot of teams have been losing at home.”

The Raptors were one of them, with the Nets winning the series opener. Toronto bounced back for a 100-95 victory in Game 2, overcoming its turnover problems by overwhelming Brooklyn on the boards and getting 30 points from All-Star DeMar DeRozan, including a franchise playoff-record 17 in the fourth quarter.

Now the Raptors need a breakthrough on the road, where they have lost 12 straight in the playoffs since beating Philadelphia in Game 1 of the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals, and are just 3-15.

But Toronto was 22-19 away from home this season, a franchise record for victories and tied for the most among East teams. Casey knew the Raptors had learned how to handle the road in December, when they beat Dallas in overtime and followed that two nights later by handling Oklahoma City its first home loss.

“Being a young team, it’s very unusual, because I’ve been with older teams that some of their eyes get big in places like Oklahoma City and back in the day, in Portland,” Casey said.

“So again, it’s a trait they have that you can’t put your finger on why they have some resolve that they do on the road. But this is going to be the first playoff atmosphere that they have and it’s going to be exciting to see how they react under the bright lights.”

According to DeRozan, they act the same on the road no matter the circumstances.

“We understand, you want to call the underdog, whatever you want to call it, we go in there with that mindset. We feel like everybody’s against us and we’re out there to go against everybody,” he said. “That’s our mindset, honestly, every time we step on the road.”

The Raptors won in their first trip to Barclays Center this season, and they were the opponent in the first regular-season game there in 2012, so they’ve already seen Brooklyn at its best.

This time they will see it at its angriest — or at least, Ujiri will.

“I don’t know if their GM is going to be here or not,” Johnson said, “but I’m sure Brooklyn is looking forward to it.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month