Dwane Casey Wins 2018 NBA Coach of the Year Award Despite Being Fired by Raptors

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2018

Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey looks on during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Washington. The Wizards won 106-98. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Toronto Raptors fired Dwane Casey after they were swept in the second round of the playoffs by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he can take solace in one thing—he is the NBA's Coach of the Year.

Casey beat out finalists Brad Stevens and Quin Snyder for the 2017-18 award on Monday night.

That drew congratulatory tweets from two teams...both former and current, respectively:

When accepting the award, the now-Detroit coach reflected on his wild last two months:

Despite the playoff failure, the Coach of the Year is a regular-season award, and no team in the Eastern Conference was better than Casey's Raptors. Toronto finished with the No. 1 seed and a 59-23 record, the best mark since he took over as head coach prior to the 2011-12 season.

Part of the reason for the success was an offensive overhaul that led to a third-place finish in offensive rating during the regular season, per NBA.com.

Pairing the production with the league's fifth-best defense was a formula for wins, and Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer noted "Casey successfully overhauled Toronto's system to improve ball movement and shot selection. DeMar DeRozan started shooting more threes and playmaking, and as a result, had a career-best season."

Formulas only go so far, though, when matched up against a generational player, and James knocked the Raptors out of the playoffs for the third straight season.

The playoff failure was ultimately impossible for the Raptors front office to ignore, especially in an Eastern Conference that was quite winnable for the top seed. The Cavaliers needed a full seven games just to escape the first round, the Boston Celtics were missing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward because of injuries, and key pieces of the Philadelphia 76ers were young and playing in their first playoffs. 

Playoff loss aside, Casey did an admirable job leading the Eastern Conference's best team in the regular season and was rewarded in kind Monday.

Related

    Report: Lakers Claim Giannis' Brother

    LA claims Kostas Antetokounmpo off waivers, will be on two-way deal

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Lakers Claim Giannis' Brother

    LA claims Kostas Antetokounmpo off waivers, will be on two-way deal

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    James Harden Is 'Good' with Chris Paul

    'There was a lot of false talk...me and Chris had constant communication'

    NBA logo
    NBA

    James Harden Is 'Good' with Chris Paul

    'There was a lot of false talk...me and Chris had constant communication'

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Bucks Sign Kyle Korver to One-Year Deal

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Bucks Sign Kyle Korver to One-Year Deal

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report

    Chris Paul: Players Don't Talk Money in Locker Rooms

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Chris Paul: Players Don't Talk Money in Locker Rooms

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report