For the first time in almost a decade, Kyle Lowry will play a game against the Toronto Raptors. Following an offseason departure to the Miami Heat, Lowry will make his first appearance against his old squad when he welcomes Toronto to South Beach on a long road trip.
Even though Lowry won’t return to Toronto until a February 1 showdown in Canada, the fact that Raptors fans will have to see Lowry in red and white while trying to take down Nick Nurse and the rest of the squad is going to create plenty of mixed emotions.
For nine seasons in Toronto, Lowry was one of the few constants on a team that went from a fringe playoff team to an NBA champion. Monday’s matchup is surely going to be an emotional game, and Nurse and the Raptors are making sure they’re in the right frame of mind before showtime.
Nurse claimed that Lowry is going to “be ready to go” in this game, claiming that he’s going to provide the same blend of high-energy basketball that will eventually make him a Hall of Famer. The Heat were a handful last year, and now they added a steady floor general in Lowry.
All eyes will be on All-Star candidate Fred VanVleet in this game, as the Lowry confidant and backup has now risen to the role of team leader in the first post-GROAT season. VanVleet doesn’t sound nervous about the prospect of playing Lowry. In fact, he’s looking forward to it.
VanVleet, who referred to Lowry as a “brother” and “friend” in his post-game quotes following a win against the Bucks, said that he is looking forward to the challenge of showing Lowry how much he has grown and developed as a player this year.
The Toronto Raptors will face off against Kyle Lowry and the Heat.
Lowry is averaging 13.4 points and 8.3 assists per game in his first season with Miami, all while leading the Heat to a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference. His scoring might be down when compared to last season, but he’s still providing enough of that old-school Kyle Lowry basketball to help the Heat contend.
The Raptors may not be a championship contender, but they’ve managed to start the post-Lowry era off with some momentum. Scottie Barnes has helped the Raptors find a potential long-term superstar and VanVleet has taken to the role of the primary offensive creator with aplomb.
This won’t be the last time that Lowry faces the Raptors as an enemy, but it will be the first, making Monday a seminal night in the history of the franchise.