TORONTO – Dwane Casey will go from drawing up a game plan to stop Heat point guard Goran Dragic to one in which he can utilize Dragic’s skills in less than a week.
As coach of Team LeBron, the Raptors coach will have Dragic on his team in Sunday’s All-Star Game. Dragic was added to the All-Star Game about two weeks ago as an injury replacement for Cleveland’s Kevin Love.
Casey won his 300th career game Sunday and has the Raptors atop the Eastern Conference standings, overtaking the Celtics. He said Dragic’s first All-Star appearance in his 10th NBA season is well deserved.
“He’s one of the tough competitors in our league, he’s a tough-minded guy,” Casey said. “One of the guys who’s made a lot out of his career, he’s made himself into a great NBA player.”
Casey compared Dragic to another lefty from back in the day. … way back in the day.
“He reminds me of Gail Goodrich of the old Lakers just the way he goes,” he said. “You know he’s going left. He may go right a couple of dribbles but he’s coming back left and he’s just an old school my kind of point guard. … (he’s) an elite point guard in our league.”
* Casey also was asked about the Heat re-acquiring Dwyane Wade.
“It’s a great confidence boost for them,” he said. “It’s like the big brother on your shoulder whispering in your ear. He’s still effective on the floor. He’s probably more of a facilitator now as much as anything else. Every once in a while he’s get a flashback to the old Dwyane Wade. He has a standard for that team that he’s played in that I’m sure he’s helping coach in the locker room which is huge for a team like that. He’s invaluable. He’s coming back home, he wants to be there and that’s a smart move for their franchise to bring him back.”