The Raptors’ Game 1 loss to the Heat ended at 11 p.m last night.
Kyle Lowry didn’t finish shooting until nearly 1 a.m.
Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star:
Beyond his half-court buzzer beater to force overtime, Lowry scored four points on 2-of-12 shooting, including 0-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Lowry, via Arthur:
“I passed up a lot of shots,” Lowry said after a 102-96 loss, cradling a basketball an hour after the game, after going to the team’s practice court to shoot postgame. “I passed up a ton of shots. The poor shooting, I think that’s what it did to me tonight.
“I’m going to hang out here for a little bit and just be in the gym, try to get back to just enjoying it, being in the gym, and having fun . . . I shoot the ball well when I’m by myself, but I’m by myself . . . it’s weird . . . I have (been through slumps like this), but not at this time, and that’s what sucks. Playoffs, all eyes are on you. So it sucks that I’m playing this bad when all eyes are on me, because I know I’m way better than this. So I’ve got to pick this s— up.”
Lowry is being more selective, waiting for only the shots he believes he has the best chance of making. And he’s still missing them at an alarming clip! That’s a major problem.
Unfortunately for him, this game wasn’t an aberration.
Lowry’s field-goal percentage – 30.6 – is the lowest in the playoffs since the NBA-ABA merger (minimum: 100 attempts). His teammate, DeMar DeRozan, isn’t far behind at 33.1%.
Here’s the full “leaderboard:”
The Raptors came to expect so much from Lowry, who should make an All-NBA team for his regular-season performance.
But this postseason has been a disaster, Lowry’s scoring average fell from 21.2 in the regular season to 13.0 in the playoffs. It’s one of the biggest drops in the league this year:
Curry has an excuse. He has played just 38 total minutes in two injury-shortened games. Lowry is averaging 39 minutes per game. Likewise, nobody expected Blake Griffin to near his early-season output after injuries and suspension.
And at least DeRozan showed some signs of shaking loose in Game 1 against Miami. No longer hounded by Paul George, DeRozan scored 22 points (albeit on 9-of-22 shooting).
But Lowry has been a colossal disappointment, which speaks to both the high standard he has set for himself and the low marks he’s hitting now.
Maybe he’s banged up. Maybe playoff basketball, where teams can better scout individual players, doesn’t suit him. Maybe he just hit a cold stretch at the worst possible moment.
No matter the cause, it’s difficult to see Toronto advancing with its biggest star struggling so mightily.
Can Lowry fix this?
He’s at least putting in the time.