Addressing myths approaching Lowry's return
Lowry does not help develop ED/TR/DD
Bullsh!t. Do people not remember the start of this season? Casey was acting as if you didn't have 3 or more years in the league, you were given nothing. ED played limited minutes. TR played limited to virtually no minutes. DD had good games alongside Lowry (remember the top back court in the league thread?).
Terrence Ross' development of late comes from 2 areas:
1) he is getting more minutes,
2) he is getting more comfortable in the NBA and is starting to hit shots he initially was missing.
Before Lowry went out for the second time, you can see Ross' minutes becoming more consistent - the first 10 games of the year were brutal. Also, he has been taking a number of the same shots as before but now he is making them and as much as I hate to admit Matt Devlin is correct, he is much more confident on the floor. That does a lot to change perception but to say it is all because of Jose takes credit away from the number one reason for Ross' improvement: himself.
Ed Davis' development of late comes from 2 areas:
1) he is getting more minutes,
2) he is starting and not backing up the Raptors 'main guy'.
Up until Bargnani went out, Davis' minutes were similar to that of a yo-yo. Since he has been out he has been impressive at times but he has been very underwhelming at times as well. Overall, he has been average at best for a starting NBA PF. Check his gamelog since December 12th for any doubts.
Some of DeRozan's best games have been with Lowry in the lineup. His performance with and without Lowry is a non-factor. The biggest issue with DeRozan's performances are based on who guards him. His worst games of the year have been against OKC (Sefolosha), SAS (Leonard), BKN (Johnson/Wallace), and Detroit (Singler) - all big and/or above average defensive wings.
The Raptors are a good team with Jose leading the team.
Bullsh!t. Let us not forget the much hyped difficult schedule to start the year. Since the tide has turned, Lowry has been out. The Raps have played 4 of their last 6 at home against very sub-par competition minus SA who blew them out. The 2 playoff teams the Raps have played in Lowry's absence have been losses (Spurs & Nets).
Lowry's absence is why the team is winning.
Bullsh!t. The schedule, as already discussed, is a big reason but there is most likely an even larger one - a 7ft, 250lb reason. Lowry most definitely took a number of ill-advised shots and played some unnecessary hero-ball but lets not forget the black hole of black holes, the ball stopper of ball stoppers, the deep 2 master has also been out. That is no coincidence in my opinion.
Lowry is not suited to Casey-ball
Bullsh!t. This season started off with Casey coaching to his weaknesses. Defense was not a priority because the winning culture and defensive mentality was set last year - double bullsh!t. It has only been since KL (and AB) have been out has the team gone back to the basics of preaching defense. I would like to see him play healthy with this renewed focus to the defensive end by the coaching staff.
The team is the same now as it was before Lowry went out.
This is a different team than any Lowry has played with this season. A recommitted defensive approach, a tightened rotation, Bargnani missing, and youth getting opportunities to play.
Lowry will not accept coming off the bench.
Says who? I have yet to see any quote or even rumour of his unhappiness. A big reason why he struggled when he came back from first injury was he came back too soon and played too much. Coming off the bench while he gets use to playing with the team and gets himself in shape is not a sacrifice or punishment to Lowry - it just makes sense. Also, Lowry is playing behind a guy with a large expiring contract and I would be shocked if he didn't understand the business and importance of February 21st.
I, for one, am very excited for Lowry's return. I just came across this article from Ryan Wolstat at the Sun. It hints on many of the same ideas of this thread. Some notable quotes:
I call bullsh!t on the bold.
Bottom line is, Lowry will adapt to what the team is doing, not the team adapting to him.
“There’s no personality massaging,” Casey said with regard to Lowry’s return. “This is a team. We’ve got to do it as a team. We’ve shown whether it’s Kyle or DeMar (DeRozan), Andrea (Bargnani), whoever it is, Jose (Calderon), whatever we’re doing, we’re doing for the team.
“When I get on a guy or make a substitution, it’s all about the team,” Casey said. “There’s no one guy, myself included, who is bigger than the team. That’s the only way. We don’t have the super-duper star, I’ve said that from Day 1, so if we don’t do it as a team, we’re not going to get anything done.”
Casey said that was the lesson learned from the Raptors’ rough start.
“I thought we tried to do a little bit too much individually and once we honed in and started moving the ball, making the extra pass, setting screens, helping each other on the defensive end and the offensive end, we became a better team.”
And for his part Lowry sounds like a guy ready to tow the company line.
“Honestly, I just have to prepare myself to play, that’s all I can really do,” he said. “In all honesty, just prepare to play. I can’t really go on, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, how I’ll react (to being back on the court) so I just have to prepare to play and if I do play, how I can help the team.”
Aiding in a quick return is the fact that Lowry is coming back from a partially torn right triceps. While Lowry wasn’t able to play, he was able to keep his fitness level to a better degree than had it been a lower-body injury (that’s for you starving hockey fans).
“I’ve done a lot of conditioning work, a lot of just trying to stay prepared and some movements that are similar to the games but without the ball,” he said.
I have to agree with Wolstat's last sentence.
“No issue whatsoever,” Casey confidently predicted. “We’ve explained it to him, whether he plays second unit, starts, it’s as a team. We talked about it, we talked about it as an organization and not only for Kyle but for everybody. That’s the only way we can have organization and not have chaos, we have to do it as a team.
“We have to have discipline, everybody has to know their role and go from there.”
Working in Casey’s favour in that regard is the success the team has enjoyed in Lowry’s absence, a level of success Lowry is well aware of.
“Guys are playing well, the team’s coming together, they’ve been moving the ball, we won some great games,” Lowry said. “(Wednesday) night we had one bad stretch and it gave one of the best teams in the league the chance to go up but we’ve been playing well, everyone’s been playing together.”
He certainly sounds like a guy ready to join the party rather than crash it.
Craiger made a nice point in another thread:
The reality is Lowry does have the ability to to find and create for others while bringing many other skills to the table which the Raptors sorely lack. He is by far the most dynamic player on the roster and he'll be starting soon enough, in my opinion, being much more selective when it comes to hero-ball. But make no mistake, the Raps still need someone to step up and create something from time to time and Lowry is that guy.