NEW YORK — Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was honoured by his peers Wednesday, just two days after his team was swept out of the NBA playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Casey, whose job security is being questioned after the top-seeded Raptors’ early exit from the post-season, is the 2018 recipient of the Michael H. Goldberg Coach of the Year Award, which is handed out by the NBA Coaches Association.
The honour is separate from the league’s coach of the year award.
The 61-year-old Casey led the Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins in the regular season, including 34 at home. That secured Toronto its fifth Atlantic Division title and the top seed in the Eastern Conference throughout the playoffs.
Their historic season came after president Masai Ujiri called for a “culture reset” last off-season. The Raptors revamped their offence around improved three-point shooting and better ball movement, and focused on developing the bench.
The Raptors’ bench became the envy of the league. Toronto was the only team in the playoffs that finished in the top five in both offence and defence.
But LeBron James and the Cavs undid all the positivity of the regular season in four second-round games, prompting cries of “same old Raptors.”
Despite Casey’s success in the regular season, his future with the team was called into question.
Eight of the league’s 30 head coaches received votes for the Goldberg award.
“To be honoured by your peers is incredibly gratifying, and I am so thankful to my colleagues across the league for this recognition,” Casey said in a release Wednesday. “I’m also grateful to the talented and dedicated coaching staff I work with every day in Toronto.”
The winner of the NBA’s Red Auerbach Trophy as top coach will be handed out June 25.