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With meaningful games fading fast in early March, there isn’t a lot of noteworthy Raptors news floating around out there, but Ric Bucher provided this under the radar gem for us on Tuesday morning:

 

The writeup on Sulia makes reference to Lowry getting “sideways” with Dwane Casey earlier this season and to the rumours that emerged regarding the Raptors possibly considering trading their younger point guard rather than moving Jose Calderon. Bucher goes on to write “Apparently when the Clippers played Toronto, Billups had dinner with Lowry and impressed upon him that the Raptors must have a lot of faith in him to move Calderon. Billups also suggested he take full advantage of that trust and not screw up the relationship a second time.”

Most of the reports about the organization being split between Lowry and Calderon stated that the management side was on Team Lowry, so I still have a tough time believing Bryan Colangelo and co. were ever really prepared to deal Kyle so soon after trading a lottery pick for him in a season that was looking like it might yield a pretty high lottery pick at that. But having said that, Billups probably figured out what the rest of us talked about with regards to Lowry, and that’s that his reputation as a point guard of the future in the NBA would have been ruined had he fallen out with another coach/team.

For what it’s worth, Lowry is averaging 10.8 points, 6.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 32.5 minutes per game over the 15-game stretch since the Rudy Gay trade that involved Calderon. The Raptors are 7-8 during that stretch, with Kyle continuing to light it up from the outside (41% from three-point range) while seriously struggling with his shot from everywhere else (38.9% from the field). On Monday, Lowry finished one assist shy of his second straight triple-double.

Despite the solid, balanced numbers however, there still exists a belief among the Raptors’ fan base that Lowry should be more aggressive with his own offence, as the 26-year-old point guard has shown in the past that he can fill the basket without his assists or rebounds slipping. Look no further than the first three games of this season, when Lowry averaged 23.7 points, 7.0 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 steals while taking an average of 13.3 shots. But over his last 31 games since returning to the lineup following his second injury layoff of the season, Lowry is only averaging 8.1 field goal attempts per game, and nearly half of those (3.9) come from behind the arc.

All in all, if Billups was able to get through to Lowry to find a way to make it work in Toronto, that’s great, as Kyle will be a free agent after next season without an extension. The way he’s been looking for his teammates is also obviously encouraging, as are the numbers pretty much across the board, but I know I speak for many fans when I say that I still long for the Lowry who can go into full on “takeover” mode on the court with his own offence when need be. Hopefully I also speak for the organization in that regard, because going forward, they’ll need that guy.

Comments (23)

  1. At least my team will be in the playoffs!

  2. Say what you want about Calderon, the guy is one of the best at setting up his teammates, and his character has never been an issue, as he is one of the classiest players in the league. I seen a post recently by some idiot on here saying that Calderon is not a winner. The Pistons are going to try and re-sign him to an extension. That says a lot about Calderon and his value, considering the Pistons are a young team that are building at the moment. I like what Lowry brings to the table, although he has a track record of not getting along with coaches/players. Calderon will be missed, and here’s hoping that Kyle can take this team to the next level.

  3. I want more players like Amir!! I’m starved for players who will give you the same thing night in and night out! No more players like Kyle, Gay, Bargnani and DeRozan who WOW you with great games and then disappear for stretches!! Seems like all we ever talk about as Raptors fans is: “well if this player or that players can only put it together consistently then we really have something” DAMN IT GIVE ME PLAYERS WHO ALREADY PUT IT TOGETHER CONSISTENTLY please!!! pretty pretty please!!!

    • Um, have you ever watched Amir before this season?
      Talk about consistency issues…
      (too be fair his effort was usually there, just not the results)

      • I have and the fact that I have to use Amir’s current season while disregarding his previous season speaks to the plea that I am making

    • That’s actually a great point.

  4. Here’s to hoping Lowry can be that guy for the Raptors; as for Calderon, of course the Pistons are looking to resign him for less, he just wasn’t a 10 mil per year calibre player.

    Amir has shown some consistency which is good, as for many other Raps, they really do need to work on their consistency. I wish Demar would attempt to share the rock more, as he played great in those few games he was looking to dish to his team. Hopefully Gay can tune his game a little bit in the same way. Overall I’d like to see much more movement with the ball, creating open space. There’s currently to much isolation plays from the guys who are supposed to lead our team, leading to costly turnovers and missed shots.

    Have got to give credit for Bargs in the last game; he played efficiently which was good to see. I’ve already spoken out as one who would like to see Bargs out of Toronto, but let’s not have a double standard just because it supports our opinion of certain players.

    • The Pistons aren’t the only team that will be looking for his services. Why isn’t he worth 10 mil a season? He’s a leader on the court, on the bench and in the dressing room. He makes everyone around him better, and he is an efficient shooter. His new contract will be right around the same price range, and deservedly so.

  5. I think the problem lies with Dwane Casey. His unusual lineups and player substitutions don’t provide Lowry with any consitancy. How can he be expected to run an efficient offence if he doesn’t know who is going to be tossed into the lineup, without any rhyme or reason.

    • That is not the issue Hendie. This season has been a mess, let’s leave it at that.

    • Casey doesnt play lowry enough minutes and always seems to play that scrub lucas too long before subbing lowry in. Lowrys minutes should be in the mid to high 30s every nite. Not high 20s to low 30s.

  6. IMO lowry is just as good as gay, he shouldnt have to give the ball to rudy so he can iso all the time, lowry should be the main ball handler all the time when hes on the floor, hes a potential triple double threat game after game

    • Dwayne casey sucks at coaching . Barny should not be rewarded for time at all lol . Baffeles me how barny goes 15 games avrg 2 boards a game then he grabbs 7 agaisnt david lee and bogut ? Just shows he has no passion to play

    • This is all on Casey he has no clue what hes doing he allows Gay and Lowry iso to much! i can maybe see why Gay iso a little becuase hes new to the team and they are still trying to figure how to use him but common they barley run any plays for Gay.. hes honestly a pathetic coach hes good at getting his defense schemes right just he knows nothing about offense.

  7. Man i’d rather have JV on the court the bargs JV needs touches since they won’t make the playoffs this year.

  8. It comes down to the typical Toronto management, after convincing players to sign up for the Raptors they never go one step further to signing another quality player, this is the history of this franchise, so many people want them to do well but management always disappoints them.

  9. One thing I love about lowry over Calderon is the fact that he’s more athletic which allows him to be a much better defender and rebounder. He is capable of scoring but not to a point where he is hogging and not passing to Rudy to demar. Instead he should know when to score like Jose, if u guys remember with Jose, he scored whenever raps needed it badly and big reason is because of his experience and high IQ. I hope lowry figures that out soon because he has he talent to do it

  10. Jose will make 5-6 mil over 3 years

    Casey is much to blame for the raps inconsistency this year offenively due to his lack of a consistent rotation and system.

    Lowry will be fine and will get an extension with raps. I think Casey is holding him back!

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