The Miami Heat offense is +15.6 points per 100 possessions when Kyle Lowry is on the court in these playoffs. On a team where Jimmy Butler has scored 73 points in the last two games but both were losses to the 76ers (tying the series 2-2), the Heat need someone to step up on that end.
They need more Kyle Lowry.
However, his status for Game 5 on Tuesday is up in the air after Lowry aggravated the hamstring strain that has sidelined him for parts of the playoffs already. Lowry himself owned it after the game.
Kyle Lowry on his hamstring, "I'd put it this way, you don't want to play with it."
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) May 9, 2022
Lowry also said he didn’t need an MRI, would get treatment on his hamstring for a couple of days and planned to play in Game 5. From Winderman at the Sun-Sentinel.
“I want to be out there,” he said of Game 5. “We’ll see what happens and how I respond to treatment. The goal is always be out there and play with my teammates.
“This is tough timing for a hamstring. I’ve never had any soft-tissue [injury]. But the goal is to be out there. So, like I said, I’m going to try to play, definitely try to play.”
But soft-tissue injuries are tricky, they feel healed and a player can run on them, but one quick cut or explosive move can be a setback if they are not 100%. Unfortunately, that appears to be the case here. Lowry injured his hamstring in Game 3 of the first-round series against the Hawks and sat out 12 days and four games before returning in Game 3 of the second-round series, but he clearly aggravated it in Game 4. He was grabbing at his hamstring at points and his movement was limited.
Erik Spoelstra on Kyle Lowry's hamstring: "We'll just have to get back to Miami and see. He's such a warrior that we'll just have to see. There's nothing right now."
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) May 9, 2022
Lowry has not been healthy or himself this postseason, averaging 6.2 points a game on 29.7% shooting. Is Miami better off with a limited Lowry, or going back home is it time to sit him and lean into other options as they did in Games 1 and 2?
That’s the question for Spoelstra and his staff heading into Tuesday night, and there is no easy answer. Spoelstra and staff also need to figure out how to get a team that shot 14-of-65 (21.5%) from 3 in two games in Philly back on track from distance (hello Duncan Robinson?).
Butler understands the big picture.
Jimmy on Lowry: "The fact that he wants to play, he wants to compete, he knows our best chance of winning is with him on the floor. We understand that, but we also want our guy to be safe, man. We always have more than enough to win. We always say that. We do believe that."
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) May 9, 2022
Later on Monday the Heat will have to list Lowry’s status for Game 5, but as we have seen throughout these playoffs — and in this series with Joel Embiid — that is fluid. His status could shift a lot in the next 24 hours.
With or without Lowry, the Heat need to find a way to find their rhythm again against a 76ers team with Embiid in the lineup — it would just be easier with a healthy Lowry.