Where does Raptors’ Kyle Lowry rank among the superstars?


The Raptors are finding they can win despite injuries – if Kyle Lowry leads like he has. How good has he been?

Prior to the season, ESPN ranked Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry the 34th-best player in the league, sandwiched between Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol. After suffering a late season collapse in 2015, Lowry came back healthier than ever. ESPN had this to say about him:

"Although he doesn’t necessarily have a single great skill, Lowry is good enough across the board to be dangerous in the pick-and-roll. He is a threat to pull up when opponents go under the screen (he shot just 33.8 percent on 3s last year but was at 38 percent the year before), can get to the basket and take contact and is a willing passer."

The new svelte Kyle Lowry has turned heads in the early going and is on a scoring tear. Last season he made a similar path to the all-star game, but this season feels different as he does not have to carry the entire load anymore. The likes of DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph are here to help him ease through the season so we can hope there won’t be any late season melt downs.

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Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal has ranked Kyle Lowry 6th in the league and a MVP candidate so far. He states, “when this point guard has been on the bench, Toronto has been outscored by 8.9 points per 100 possessions. When he plays, however, the Raptors have done the outscoring, this time to the tune of an 8.2 net rating. That, in a nutshell, is an MVP-caliber impact.”

“If you were forced to fill out an MVP ballot at this early stage of the season, Kyle Lowry would deserve some serious consideration for one of the five spots.” – Bleacher Report’s Adam Fromal

This has put him as the third best point guard in the league, behind noted superstars Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook. It’s safe to say he is showing up every night and playing like a champion. Lowy’s incredible averages are 22 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.6 steals, 0.6 blocks,  and a 25.9 PER. He is even ranked 2nd in Yahoo Fantasy Basketball, ranked just behind Stephen Curry. Speaking of Curry, Lowry is second in the league in made threes behind him and also leads the league in steals.

Dec 9, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) controls the ball against San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated San Antonio 97-94. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Most impressively is that 74.4% of his field goals are unassisted. As a 6’0 player being able to create his own shot and with such efficiency has been mesmerizing. To boost him up some more, he ranks 3rd in BPM (box plus/minus, how he performs above an average player), offensive BPM and value over a replacement. All ranked behind Curry and Westbrook again.

Over his last 5 games, Lowry is averaging nearly 27 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. How long can he keep at this pace? All I know is he put in a quiet 19 points against the San Antonio Spurs, and with defensive sieves such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers coming up, the future looks very bright for at least a Kyle Lowry NBA all-star appearance in Toronto 2016.