Toronto Raptors: Whose stock is rising/falling, including C.J. finds his shot

Toronto Raptors - C.J. Miles (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - C.J. Miles (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Kyle Lowry – Stock Up

Kyle Lowry’s impact on this team is unquantifiable. His level of play really does go beyond the box score, a case that has been made for him time and time again, especially when he is criticized for his shooting and performances in the playoffs (a dumb argument).

Fair enough, Lowry’s shooting has dipped for a large portion of the season, but a lot of that should be put down to the back injury that’s been plaguing him. This week, Lowry averaged 17 points and just under eight assists on 15-36 shooting. More importantly, he knocked down 8-20 from three-point range, good for 40-percent. That’s a really nice output for a player averaging just over 31-percent this season, the fourth-lowest mark of his career and his worst percentage as a Raptor.

As previously advertised, Lowry’s play extends beyond what he can do when targeting the hoop, he knows exactly how to dissect the perfect pick-and-roll game. He can feed a bounce-pass between two defenders to a rolling Siakam or Ibaka, he can shift his body in front of the ball-handling defender to protect the ball and draw a foul. And, like we’ve seen constantly this season, he can draw both defenders towards him and watch Ibaka fade to the elbow, that’s the money shot.

This week documented all of the strengths that Lowry has. He’s still a pesky defender, and he can draw charges unlike anyone else in the league. Unless their names are either Ersan Ilyasova or Blake Griffin, that is. The Raptors are just an all-around better team when Lowry is rolling, he’s the key to making the offense tick and everything flows a little easier when he’s on the court, even if he isn’t shooting well.

Oh, and he also ranks in the top ten for Real Plus-Minus.