In fairness, he has exceeded all our expectations. A late 1st round pick who was essentially cast away by two teams (Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets), Kyle landed in T.O. in the hopes he could stabilise the point guard position. No one was thinking this was an all-star in waiting.
And then, something clicked. Maybe being rejected twice made that chip on his shoulder juuusst big enough to matter. Kyle now plays all out, every time out! He took the leap into the NBA’s penthouse, and is now a perennial All-Star (along with fellow bro-mancer DeMar DeRozan).
"Best backcourt in the league."
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 27, 2021
It always seems like he’s playing at 110% of his skill set…. just beyond what he is physically capable of. He’s making shots he shouldn’t make (and sometimes take). He’s become an excellent sniper from downtown and he’s clearly the leader of the team.
Watch the last 2 minutes of a game, I dare you. The offence’s strategy is a mess. I shudder when Raptors games are close, because Kyle gets that same brainfreeze I get from that first Slurpee of the year (this is not me).
Luckily, I was able to get some exclusive audio of a timeout huddle, where Dwane Casey talked to the team about the inbounds play. Here’s a transcript:
“Ok, everyone go stand by the sideline. Let’s get the ball into Kyle… dribble at the top for 10 seconds, then drive the lane out of control, crash into their big man, and hope we get a foul call! And… break!” (players awkwardly clap hands)
This happens EVERY TIME.
I give you the end of the 2014 series v the Brooklyn Nets as the prime example:
Unless of course, they are designing a different play, and then Kyle is going rogue on the call. Either way, the decision making is terrible, and far too often the Raptors are on the losing end of tight contests. As good as Lowry is, he has not earned the superstar calls others get at the end of games.
Can I be mad at Lowry for this? He’s exceeded expectations and ascended the NBA ladder. For 46 minutes, he is the heart and soul and leader.
That last 2 minutes, though….