I'm going to try and not get into Lowry vs Jose debate, but I will say I'm not at all convinced Lowry is more 'talented' than Jose. They are very different style PGs, with Jose being more talented in some areas, and Lowry in others. To add to that Jose's biggest weakness, defense, wasn't quite as bad as people claimed so trading for Lowry didn't give this jump in defensive prowress people expected. Rather having a team loaded with bad defenders made it look much worse than it is, much like it was for Lowry especially early in the season. Hello: Andrea 'I don't help on defense and instantly make everyone a bad defender' Bargnani
Lowry's numbers are very similar to the same numbers he put up in Houston. (Link) In fact many are at or near career highs. The only area where his numbers have dropped of any note (and not that much to be honest) is scoring attempts (FGA + FTA). Which shouldn't be a suprise given he's hasn't been the center of the offense in Toronto like he was in Houston.
I think this is a case of some combination of the following:
-people having much too high of expectations of him, and now he is only performing poorly in relation to those expectations. He's actually been good, just not great.
-playing a different role (ie. not a shoot first PG). And while some may blame Casey for this, I'd point you directly to Colangelo. Its not suprising the guys taking shots instead of Lowry are the guys Colangelo is paying the most and guys he's seen as the teams franchise players at one point or another this season. We all know the consequences of a coach not following the plan on this team.
- Jose being better than people thought, and the 'upgrade' to Lowry was marginal at best.
- scoring still plays a big role, at the very least subconsiously, convincing fans how talented players are. Compared to last year all Lowry's efficiency numbers are up (including rebounds and steals. While the small drop in drtg is easily explained by being on a worse defensive team to last season - team drtg of 105.2 in Houston vs 108 in Toronto), its only his actual shots taken that are down.
To sum up. Lowry is a good player, on a bad team thats poorly built with players playing roles they aren't suited to because the GM is more concerned with perserving his ego (and job) than building for success. Casey and Lowry are just symptoms of a bigger issue.