After firing Stan Van Gundy last month, the Detroit Pistons recently announced Dwane Casey as their new head coach.
Casey quickly landed another job after he was relieved of his duties by the Toronto Raptors around the same time following a second consecutive sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.
It was a sour ending to his seven years in Canada and especially after a season where he led the team to their best campaign in franchise history, finishing as the number one seed in the Eastern Conference with a 59-23 record.
But his stock didn't diminish too much after his firing and another playoff defeat to LeBron James and the Cavs.
Highly sought after
The Pistons didn't hesitate to snap Casey up and gave him a five-year deal. They've identified him as the man to finally make them among the best teams in the east again.
The 61-year-old is excited by the potential on the Detroit roster and believes that a team featuring a core of Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson can not only make the playoffs but become a serious threat.
“The team is well put together as far as the talent level is concerned,” Casey said, per the Detroit Free Press.
“It’s right there as far as making a jump. It’s a process to get there and when we get there, I don’t want our guys to be satisfied with just making the playoffs. We want to get in and do some damage. Not only get to the playoffs, but get in there and advance.
“The time is now.”
Casey has a plan to continue the growth he started in Toronto and wants to play a fast-paced style with the Pistons with a real emphasis on ball movement.
Adopting this style and moving away from one-on-one iso basketball with the Raptors last season was the key to their regular season success.
He wants to continue that with his new players and has stated that there will be fewer post-ups despite having two elite big men in Griffin and Drummond.
“We got a group of tremendous young men,” Casey said. “Well-rounded, full of character, very thoughtful, very intelligent. That’s what struck me at first.
"At my first introduction, the first thing I said is you guys aren’t going to trust me, you don’t know me, but I want to get to know you. I have to earn your trust, I have to earn your respect and that’s what I plan on doing.
“You need that character and depth when you have adversity.”
It's clear that there's real excitement from Casey and the Pistons front office about what the future holds for the Michigan-based franchise.
But after flattering to deceive for the last few seasons, it'll be down to the players to finally turn the team's fortunes around.
CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.News Now - Sport News