Toronto Raptors: What can Kyle Lowry do during Toronto’s playoff push?

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are officially confusing everyone again. Just when it seemed they were in tank mode and headed for the lottery, the Raptors have won four games in a row. The Raptors, and leader Kyle Lowry, are toying with the emotions of their fans and the NBA at large.

The Raptors, like Lowry, don’t want to give up on the season. That much can be expected from this team and their relentless leader with no quit in him. Lowry exemplifies taking charges, getting up, and doing it again in order to pull out the win.

The Raptors and Lowry refuse to quit on their season, holding off a shorthanded, yet still strong Kyrie Irving-led Nets team 114-103 on Wednesday. Lowry was paramount to his team’s success scoring 14 points and contributing seven rebounds, not to mention a timely three down the stretch to put some distance between the two teams.

Lowry, who has been battling injuries and rumors of an impending departure all season, now faces the possibility of potentially playing his last season with the Raptors in the middle of a heated playoff push. What should the Raptors expect from him?

Kyle Lowry is still productive for the Toronto Raptors.

Lowry is still a quality player, averaging 17.0 points, 7.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. He is invaluable to the Raptors equally offensively as he is defensively. Usually, the Raptors strongest line-up features Lowry starting at the point with Fred VanVleet at shooting guard.

Although deadline acquisition Gary Trent Jr. has been impressive when starting at shooting guard with FVV at point, one would still imagine the Raptors would start the Lowry/FVV combo as their strongest line-up.

If the Raptors are going to go all-in on the last dozen or so games they have left this season, Lowry needs to be a consistent contributor. He needs to be good and on some nights even great. But as seen throughout his time as a Raptor, Lowry delivers, one way or another.

He may not stuff the stat sheet every night but he’ll guard top players, or block a shot. He does it on both ends and his team will need that no-quit, relentlessness if they’re going to beat the Wizards and Bulls to the last play-in position.

Kyle Lowry’s mentorship is crucial for the younger Raptors

Other than the fact that a team with Lowry will fight until the last day of the season, Lowry provides another intangible perhaps even more valuable than his no-quit attitude.

The GROAT’S leadership and the mentorship he can provide for young Raptors such as Trent Jr., “new Freddie” Freddie Gillespie and Malachi Flynn is crucial, as these inexperienced players learn from one of the very best just how to be a pro.

Lowry and VanVleet’s relationship with Flynn, in particular, is exciting to watch. Not only do the Raptors have a replacement for Lowry at point guard with VanVleet, but they also have VanVleet’s readymade back-up and understudy in Flynn developing and learning the position from both of them.

Already there are hints of Lowry’s game that seem to be rubbing off on Flynn. Again, that pesky penchant for a three-ball just when the team needs it.

Lowry is not a bad teacher to have when it comes to stepping up when his team needs him. He has built his Raptors career on that principle, which is why the Raptors have been competitors in the playoffs for nearly a decade on the bounce, including a successful championship run.

So what exactly can we expect from Kyle Lowry for the rest of the season? No quit, relentlessness, the usual. If he can back that up with a few nights of hot shooting, Toronto should be in the play-in tournament.

Regardless, if the Raptors make the play-in tournament or not Lowry will come to play night in and night out. Hitting jumpers, guarding or taking his charges.

Lowry will be the most driven Raptor and toughest player on the court, that much is guaranteed. Raptors fans can trust that whether or not he is a Raptor next season, he will leave his attitude and spirit on this team.

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