Title: Saving Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan from Overuse
Date: October 18, 2016
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: For my first piece with The Athletic Toronto, I looked at the workload of the Raptors’ stars and what might need to happen to reduce them.
“Why are Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan still on the floor?”
The query was frequently offered late in Toronto Raptors games during the 2015-16 season, as the team leaned heavily on their two All-Star guards to secure a franchise-best 56 regular season wins. As a team looking to cement its status as a challenger to the Cleveland Cavaliers atop the Eastern Conference, the Raptors and head coach Dwane Casey rode their two best players late into games, often out of necessity and occasionally out of fear.
While Casey was occasionally criticized for not giving the second unit enough leash, there is strong evidence supporting his reliance on Lowry in particular. Not only did the Raptors find themselves in a moderate number of close games and “crunch time” scenarios, they were often guilty of starting slow and then letting teams back into games in the third quarter. To the credit of Casey and Lowry, the late-game heroics largely worked, as the Raptors ranked third in the NBA with 11 wins coming from 10 or more points down.
Continue reading at The Athletic.