Physical point guard Kyle Lowry talks weight loss

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Summer claims of NBA players’ weight loss/gain usually have the value of an inflatable tiger’s head. This is the time of year those claims start to pop up across the league as guys start to show up at team facilities for workouts, and most are pretty hollow.

But Kyle Lowry‘s weight loss — which has shown up on Instagram — turned some heads north of the border. A guy known for being a physical point guard got thinner, is that a good thing? Lowry talked about it with Stack.com (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

“It started during [last] season, and even before that. I was talking to my wife, and she said “You were always your best at your college weight.” The saying is, the older you get, the lighter you’ve got to be. I thought Ray Allen did a great job of that, and Chauncey Billups too. I’m getting to the point where I’m a little bit older. I’m still young, but I’m a little bit older, and I can pick and choose how I want my body to look and feel.”

But can he still be physical?

“Who said I won’t be? I’m still lifting, still moving the same way I used to. So there’s no change in that. I’m going to play the best basketball I can play. I’ve always tried to be stronger than people and just a bigger bully. People are making a big deal out of something. I’ve always worked hard. This is just me changing up the way I do it, the way I dieted and the way I eat, the way I grind. I’ve always worked hard, it’s just now I’m smarter and older and I know how to work.”

Nobody should question Lowry’s desire or work ethic. What you can wonder about is if this give Lowry the desired results — keep him healthy through the season and into the playoffs. Last season Lowry averaged 3.5 points and 1.8 assists per game fewer after the All-Star break than he did before, and his shooting percentage fell to 37.3 percent for those final 17 games. He wasn’t the same guy. Early in the season, when he had to take on more offensive load (DeMar DeRozan was out), he was fantastic, but he faded as the season dragged on.

If Toronto is going to take a step forward and get out of the first round of the playoffs this season a few things have to happen. Bringing in DeMarre Carroll and focusing more on defense has to work. Jonas Valanciunas has to take a significant step forward (especially on defense). And Lowry has to be healthy and rested for the playoffs.

It sounds like Lowry is at least doing his part.