DeMar DeRozan has all the tools to be a good defender, and Raptors coach Dwane Casey wants him to set a tone on that end.

“I think he wants to be a better defender, I think he is becoming a better defender,” Casey said. “That’s our challenge to him, to be a better defender, to guard the best two-guards in the league. That’s the most important thing, is picking it up on the defensive end. … He has the quick feet, quick hands, athletic ability to go up and contest shots. There is no reason he should not be able to be an elite defender.”

DeRozan has gotten the message—now, it is up to him to execute.

“Definitely, there is more of a passion on the defensive end,” DeRozan said. “We hear it from all of the coaching staff, really pushing us to be the type of team that leaves our mark on the defensive end. I think it is going to pay off in the end for us. He just has guys buying in on the defensive end, with the understanding that you can’t win games without the team executing defensive schemes. The more we buy into it, the more we get a chance to play and practice, we are going to get a lot better at it.”