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Slumping Raptors down to 8 healthy players vs Nets

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm •  Published: December 12, 2012

Players and coaches met after a loss in Utah for some soul-searching. The Raptors promptly lost games in Portland and Los Angeles, against the Clippers.

"I think Bryan was trying to light a fire under the players, saying there's lack of focus, that we had talent," Casey said. "We do have talent. We have young talent that can compete in this league — or growing talent. I think there's a lot of room for improvement with the talent we have and I think that's what he's trying to say is 'Look, we're good enough. We're good enough to compete with these guys.'"

Defense has been among the major issues.

Entering the Brooklyn game, the Raptors ranked 30th — last — in the league in point differential at minus 7.45. Toronto was 27th in points conceded at 103 and 27th in rebounding by opponents.

"I thought we made progress last year defensively and we've taken a step back," Casey said. "We've taken a step back to go forward. But are we giving up on that progress? I'm not."

After playing 15 of its 22 games away from home, Toronto hosts 11 of its next 15 at the Air Canada Centre. But Casey was quick to note that home court isn't a cure-all.

"There's an old saying: 'Home will take care of you, but you've got to take care of home,'" he said. "You don't want to be comfortable at home either because that's when you get in trouble. We're going to have challenges wherever we play as a team."