The Cleveland Cavaliers are moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals, and Kyle Lowry is headed somewhere too. But none of us know where as of yet.
On Monday, it was announced that Lowry would opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent next season. Though a stocky and powerfully built NBA All Star, Lowry has shown both a propensity to injury and an inability to come up big in the playoffs.
Lowry, now 31 years old, was once a young, up and coming point guard who was destined to be elite, and that’s exactly what he became, earning All-Star nods over the last three years.
Also, he always seemed to have the offensive tools to compete with just about any elite level all-star point guard in the National Basketball Association during the regular season. Yep, that’s regular season Lowry alright.
According to hoopsstats.com, he has won six of hismatchups against top 10 point guards this season stat wise, based on efficiency ratings that take into account all measurable stats. The Toronto Raptors are 4-2 in those regular season matchups.
But as has been the case year after year, Lowry and the Toronto Raptors have come up short when it counts most.
This season he was recovering from a broken wrist suffered back in February and we know he sprained his ankle during the Cleveland series and thus was playing hurt from then on.
People blamed his injury for him being slightly “regular” in appearances against the Bucks to open the playoffs, especially in Game One of the opening round when he shot 2 for 11. He played in four regular season games after coming back from the broken hand, scoring 27 points and dishing out 10 assists against the Detroit Pistons on April 5 and nearly dropping a triple double against the New York Knicks several days later.
But that didn’t carry over to the playoffs, as he and DeMar DeRozan have come up short like roach ankles against LeBron and the Cavs once again. And while nobody expected them to beat the freight train Cavaliers in this series, honor and guts could have clawed out at least one win, yes?
Lowry is a talented point guard on a very good team. But very good doesn’t get it done against LeBron James in the postseason.
Will Lowry re-up with the Raptors, head out West to avoid the Beast that is LeBron James only to be sizzled by the Golden State Warriors and the other contenders out past the Mississippi River, or will he remain in the Eastern Conference with a team that is better equipped to compete?
Only time will tell. Time and money.