It’s crazy to think this is even a topic of discussion since Kyle Lowry has played so well for the Toronto Raptors the last few years. He has lead them to three straight playoff appearances, including the Eastern Conference Finals last season, where they were able to push the Cleveland Cavaliers to six games.
Therefore, it was believed that the Raptors would again be at the top of the Eastern Conference and would possibly challenge the Cavaliers to reach the NBA Finals. At first, it looked like that was going to be the case, as Toronto started off with a 28-13 record.
However, in the last 16 games before the All-Star break, they have a record of 5-11. This drought as fallen them from second place to the fourth place in the East.
During the last 16 games, they have losses to some bad teams like the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, and Chicago Bulls. As a team that should be competing for a finals appearance, they should’ve only lost one of those games at most.
The player who is struggling the most during this is Kyle Lowry. His numbers from the first 41 games to the last 16 games have dropped dramatically.
Lowry’s main struggle during these last 16 games is his shooting percentage. More specifically, his struggles have come from three-point range. Through the first 41 games he was shooting 44.4 percent. The last 16 games it has dropped to 36.2 percent.
He shot 55.3 percent from top-of-the-key threes to start off the year, but recently, he has been shooting 31.1 percent. Due to Lowry’s short stature, he prefers to shoot 3’s rather than driving all the way to the rim. Other teams have picked up on that. Defenders have now been stepping up and contesting his shots coming off the pick-and-roll.
His three-point shooting struggles were on display during the 3-point contest this past weekend.
— Trevor Gaffney (@TrevorGaffney_) February 19, 2017
Lowry needs to return to his old self or the Raptors might want to part ways with him. They have already showed their commitment to DeMar DeRozan by signing him to a five-year, 139-million-dollar contract. It might be time for the Raptors to build around DeRozan.