Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is recognized as one of basketball’s premier guards. The following article explains what makes Lowry so special, setting him aside from other fringe stars.
A Coach’s Dream
Gritty. Tough. Efficient. Beloved. Fundamentally sound.
Kyle Lowry embodies all of these traits. In a way, Kyle Lowry is the ideal NBA point guard. He can not necessarily pull up from limitless range effortlessly like Steph, nor can he snatch ankles as Kyrie does in a picture perfect fashion. However, he will gladly pester your favorite player to no end on defense. On the other side of the ball, Lowry flawlessly orchestrates an offense, scoring efficiently while also getting his teammates wide open looks.
Raptors Head Coach and Coach of the Year nominee Nick Nurse has high praise for the 34 year old guard. He previously acknowledged Lowry as “the heart and soul” of the Raptors’ franchise. Even with stars like Vince Carter and Demar Derozan enjoying fruitful spells at the club, Kyle Lowry makes a legitimate case for greatest Raptor ever.
At First Glance
From a purely statistical standpoint, Lowry does not necessarily stand out. He’s averaged a solid, yet not exactly stellar or overly impressive 18/7/5 per game. However, his presence and high-volume role on the squad has helped establish a winning culture in Toronto.
In 8 seasons, Lowry has led the Raptors in win shares 5 times. The Raptors have also enjoyed consistent team success during Lowry’s Tenure. They have won 5 division titles since 2013-14, along with an NBA Championship in the past year. Before their iconic championship campaign, Toronto made solid playoff runs to the Conference Finals (once) and the Conference Semi-Finals twice.
Lowry’s individual performances have been enough to secure him an All-NBA selection and 6 consecutive all-star game appearances. What is most impressive about Kyle Lowry is that no one expected him to get to where he is. No one guessed that the scrappy, barely 6 foot 1 guard with four college offers would become a global star.
Kyle Lowry’s Unexpected Rise to Greatness
Lowry, a Philadelphia Native, decided to stay close to home when he committed to Villanova as a member of the 2004 recruiting class. In two years at Villanova, he received Big East All-Rookie Team and All Big East Second Team honors. The Wildcats retired his number this past February.
Despite success at a proven NCAA powerhouse, scouts overlooked Lowry because of his smaller frame and mediocre jump shot capabilities. Many critics assumed he would not have the size nor shot creation skills to keep up at the highest level. Front office workers around the league did, however, respect his toughness, quickness and overall athleticism (excluding size). Lowry drew comparisons to Tim Hardaway and Rajon Rondo during the draft process.
The Grizzlies picked Lowry with the 24th overall selection in 2006. After just 10 games, he broke his wrist and sat out for the remainder of his rookie year. After struggling to take minutes in the rotation from Mike Conley, Lowry was shipped to Houston in a 2009 trade. He further proved himself to be a capable player, having several breakout games in Houston and seeing valuable postseason minutes. After bumping heads with Rockets coaching staff members, Toronto picked him up for a protected draft pick in 2012.
After struggling to find a pure point guard for years, the Raptors assumed Lowry would be a capable starter. Many were surprised by his rise to stardom.
Lowry and slashing guard Demar Derozan formed an electric backcourt and lifelong friendship, enjoying lots of success in the East for 6 seasons.
Lowry does not show any signs of regression or physical decline. With the assumption that he plays at a high level for a solid three or four more years, he will solidify his Hall of Fame legacy. His resume would be boosted even further by another Raptors championship. While this is not likely, Toronto is contender. If they do not have a major roster shakeup this offseason, another championship appearance is definitely possible.
In summary, Kyle Lowry, as mentioned, is an ideal NBA point guard. However, he is more than just that. He is an ideal NBA player. Toronto cherishes him. His teammates and coaches love and respect him, and he is a phenomenal player.
Kyle Lowry is Hall Of Famer.