Title: Lowry still has a top gear, guarding Giannis, and other takeaways from a failed Raptors comeback in Milwaukee
Date: November 2, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ failed comeback in Milwaukee, specifically Kyle Lowry’s big scoring night and how the Raptors defended Giannis Antetokounmpo.
More than five minutes passed and the Raptors were still without a field goal. The Milwaukee Bucks were clearly the more fired-up team for the Eastern Conference finals rematch, opening up a 12-1 lead that looked every bit as bad for the Raptors as the score indicated. It was too early to write the night off, but it looked dire.
Cue Kyle Lowry, who tends to have a sense of these situations. Over the last few years, Lowry has shapeshifted his role to fit a new offence, to fit a more ball-dominant DeMar DeRozan and to fit a new co-star altogether. His usage has decreased, his pick-and-roll opportunities declined, his All-Star cases left to be made through the lens of impact rather than box score stats. Through all of that, though, Lowry has reminded that he can occasionally be that other guy, that earlier Lowry, when the occasion calls for it.
Down double digits in the opening minutes Saturday, Lowry pulled out a Lowry trademark, hustling the ball up the court ahead of his teammates and the defence to draw a foul in transition. Shortly after, he let the play advance in front of him before pulling up for a transition 3. Two minutes later, he did it again.