Nick Wright reveals why DeMar DeRozan was benched in Game 3

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During his conversation with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe, Nick Wright reveals why DeMar DeRozan was benched in game three of Cavaliers - Raptors.

- They've got an uphill battle would be quite the understatement. What do you make of DeMar DeRozan being benched in the fourth quarter?

- It's a really tough situation because, it wasn't-- not only was Dwane Casey's plan to bench him, he took him out at the end of the third quarter, as he customarily does. He started the fourth on the bench, as he customarily does. And they got back in the game. They had their best quarter.

- I wouldn't say that he was actually benched. He just changed the rotation. Because when you're benched, you're actually playing bad. The coach sees that you're playing bad and takes you out of the game. He came out in his normal rotation.

They stormed back. I thought the coach made the right move. Now, he made a couple other moves that I would question. But as far as leaving the backups in there because they did bring the team back, their biggest problem was not those four teammates.

Their biggest problem was they didn't get that last stop. Because they get that last stop, they can bring DeMar back into overtime. He's got five minutes. He got a clean slate. Then he's got a chance to redeem himself.

But they don't get the final stop. So now the totality of it hits them. They're down three and zero. The player who they've invested in, believed in-- he's going to be the guy to help us turn around. He was on the bench. So it just doesn't look-- it does not look good for the Raptors or DeMar.

- Listen, I-- Dwane Casey can be criticized for a lot of things in this basketball game. I'm going-- I'm not laying the blame on him for this. The blame is on the player.

I like DeMar DeRozan. And I've been saying all year that I think he's a fringe all-NBA guy. He would add a spot on my ballot. He's one of the six best guards in the NBA this year.

But this is your biggest game of the season. This is a game that you guys have to have. And he's minus 23 in 27 minutes on the court, minus 23. He's three for 12.

People say, people-- if they just look at the box score, they would think J. R. Smith played a really bad game because he had zero points. J. R. was extraordinary on DeMar DeRozan defensively. J. R. is not Kawhi Leonard. You can't let J. R. Smith shut you down.

And you can't in your biggest game of the season, the only way your season stays alive, play as poorly as he did. He kind of bound Dwane Casey's hand when the team ended up playing well in the fourth quarter without him. And his best for bringing him back court, mate Kyle Lowry, was doing everything for them.

- So do you agree--

- And Cleveland was giving Lowry more space. That was their game plan to give him more space and let him shoot.

- You're OK with him on the bench, with Dwane Casey keeping him on the bench?

- He had to.

- Yeah, they were-- again, I think CC's point's correct. It wasn't the plan. The plan was your normal rotation, out for the first-- final two minutes of the third, first two minutes of the fourth, play the last 10.

But the Raptors were playing so well, I'm sure he was waiting for them to hit a lull to put him back in. They never hit a lull. They tied the game up, like.

And I do think he would have started overtime. People were speculating, would have left on the bench to start overtime? I say no chance. He would have let him start over.