Title: Raptor Recalibration, Game 4: Great ball movement, Lowry going full KLOE, Siakam post passing and more
Date: May 22, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column looked at the Raptors best win of the playoffs, a resounding Game 4 defeat of the Bucks to tie the conference final series at 2-2.
Kyle Lowry is having himself a series.
I’m not sure where else to work this in. I feel like I’ve spilled a lot of bandwidth this postseason trying to fight the narrative of Playoff Lowry, whether it was highlighting all of the ways he swung Game 7 against the 76ers or telling the actual story of Lowry’s postseason career. It’s not exactly a Jonah Keri-Tim Raines kind of mission, but the degree to which he goes underappreciated clearly bothers me at times.
Here’s hoping this series is working as a refresher for the larger population. After a 30-point series opener and a strong, if abbreviated Game 3 showing, Lowry was excellent again in Game 4, scoring a team-high 25 points on just 17 used possessions and chipped in five rebounds, six assists and a drawn charge. His 10 free-throw attempts were his most in a game since January 1, 2018 (also against Milwaukee), highlighting his aggression working more as a scorer on a night Kawhi Leonard wasn’t going to carry as heavy a burden.
This game goes a different way if it isn’t for that Lowry aggression early. The Raptors fell behind 12-5 in the opening minutes and Lowry came out of a timeout a house afire – he canned a three, stepped back for another, attacked Brook Lopez for free throws, then got Marc Gasol involved with a three, scored off of a Danny Green steal and finished his run off with a step-back mid-range shot. All told, he’d scored or assisted on 17 of Toronto’s first 19 points in under five minutes.