Title: Kyle Lowry Is Finally Adjusting to His New Offensive Role
Date: November 16, 2017
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: In my latest for Vice, I wrote about Kyle Lowry’s new role in the Raptors offense and how he’s beginning to find a comfort zone with it.
Kyle Lowry looked a little out of sorts. One possession after miscommunicating with DeMar DeRozan on a swing pass that landed out of bounds, Lowry tried to float a tough pass over top of multiple defenders to Jonas Valanciunas, landing in the hands of Dante Cunningham. Those were two of his five turnovers on Wednesday night and one of 21 for the Toronto Raptors, leading to 29 points for the New Orleans Pelicans, free points that normally spell death against stars so potent.
The Raptors, though, figured things out, shaking off an unsightly start to roar back for a 125-116 victory. Lowry would prove instrumental in that turnaround, ultimately finishing with his first 20-point game of the young season and nearly notching his second triple-double. The discomfort in the opening minutes dissipated fairly quickly, just as his apparent discomfort in the Raptors’ new offensive ecosystem is slowly fading away, too.
That Lowry struggled out of the gate is little secret. Over his first nine games, he averaged 11.8 points on 37.6-percent shooting from the floor and a 32.7-percent mark from long range, getting to the line just 1.7 times per-game. He was still leading the team with 6.6 assists and chipping in five rebounds each night, but his steals—normally a bellwether for his aggressive defensive contributions—were down and his normally robust on/off splits were modest. He’d eventually hit 13 games in a row without scoring 20 points, his longest such stretch since his first, somewhat painful year as a Raptor.