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Thread: Kyle Lowry has something to prove: ESPN True Hoop

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Kyle Lowry has something to prove: ESPN True Hoop

    he list of NBA players averaging 15 points, five rebounds and five assists is just three names long. Two, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, are franchise cornerstones and perennial All-NBA selections. The other, Kyle Lowry, may have lost his starting job and will come off the bench Friday night in his return from a torn right tricep muscle.

    Despite Lowry’s impressive production, Raptors coach Dwane Casey is sticking with veteran point guard Jose Calderon, who averaged 13 points and 10.6 assists per game while leading the 9-20 Raptors to a 5-2 record in Lowry's stead. During those seven games, the Raptors posted an offensive rating (107.9) and defensive rating (101.5) that would both be in the top 10 for the season.
    Calderon is indeed one of the most enthusiastic gesturers in the NBA. He's constantly yelling through his mouthpiece and emotively waving his arms to get everyone in the right spot.

    Under his direction, the team has played with a previously absent sense of cohesiveness and intensity on both ends of the court. While it's not necessarily shocking that Calderon, long one of the best in the league when it comes to directing an offense, has helped the Raptors score, he has a reputation for helping the other team’s offense nearly as much. But Casey's words suggest that the chemistry fostered on offense has translated to more effort and communication on the defensive end.

    That may be true, though it’s hard to ignore that Andrea Bargnani and his inert, disinterested brand of defense have also been absent during the Raptors’ recent run of solid play. Meanwhile Lowry, though he hasn’t been as feisty and engaged as in previous seasons, is a player who made his name in the NBA as a lock-down defender before emerging as a solid starting point guard in Houston.
    In an interview with Raptors.com before the season, Lowry also said that he wouldn’t have wanted to come to Toronto if the Raptors had signed Steve Nash. “I wanted to be the starter,” Lowry explained. “[Nash is] a great guy to learn from, I’d have been a professional, but I didn’t want it.”

    Lowry has put up the numbers, even in Toronto, to warrant such a high self-appraisal. His 2012-13 PER of 20.5 is good for sixth among point guards. But franchise players aren't just talented in their own right; they should make their teammates better, too.

    That's where Casey sees Calderon's real value.
    When Lowry came to Toronto, it seemed the Raptors had found their point guard of the future. A nasty defender and effective pick-and-roll scorer, Lowry looked like the perfect pairing for rookie big man Jonas Valanciunas and wing slashers like DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross. At 26 years old, Lowry is entering his prime as a point guard just as Calderon (31) is exiting his. Even their contracts line up -- Calderon is in the last year of his deal and Lowry’s next year is unguaranteed.

    Lowry, the 24th overall pick in 2006, got this far by scrapping his way past players who were drafted higher than him and made more money. He had to prove himself every step of the way, by going after the opposing team’s ball handler and looking for his shot off of pick-and-rolls. In a way, he has been conditioned to be a bit selfish for fear of losing his position.

    But to truly arrive as his franchise's point guard, he may need to temper those same instincts and focus more on how he can make his teammates better. To earn the security of a long-term contract with the Raptors, he has to play like he already has it.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/pos...thing-to-prove


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    great find sir

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Miekenstien's Avatar
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    good read matt. does this mean we love kyle more than jose now again?
    For The Win

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    Raptors Republic Starter Ambidextrious's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the article it was a good piece. It'll be interesting to see if Lowry can regain his starters role in the eyes of Casey. At the moment Jose deserves to start unless he shows otherwise.

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    Seems like a pretty accurate assesment of the situation and the players. I was great to see KL distribute last night, he played well. You could see that he wanted to start doing it by himself late in the game including and ill advised 3 that was blocked, but I thought he played very well and kept trying to get everyone involved. This is the KL that I hope to see more and more of. As Matt pointed out in a different thread, I don't know how much of the early selfishness was Lowry and how much was asked of him by a coach that was trying to establish a closer and an offensive identity. Last night was a great example of doing a bit of both, taking to the rim when the opportuntiy presented itself, shooting the 3 when open and not forcing his game.

    I don't care who starts to be honest I think the Raps need a bit of what both of our PG's bring. I hope the KL understands that regardless of the starting job, he was asked to finish the game and played during crunch time and OT. That to me says he has the trust of the coach and the other players.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    I know this is about Lowry so I don't want to disrupt too much from that but:

    Andrea Bargnani and his inert, disinterested brand of defense
    is an absolutely perfect description.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Balls of Steel's Avatar
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    He has to play smart - like last night. I love Calderon but I give him one more start until things get straightened out. This team is evolving without Andrea. It would break my heart for him to find his way into the starting lineup or this team for that matter.
    “The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.” - Martin Luther King

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Jkwasia's Avatar
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    Quote Ambidextrious wrote: View Post
    Thanks for posting the article it was a good piece. It'll be interesting to see if Lowry can regain his starters role in the eyes of Casey. At the moment Jose deserves to start unless he shows otherwise.
    Like how showed yesterday right? 0.o

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Jkwasia wrote: View Post
    Like how showed yesterday right? 0.o
    Agreed.

    At this point, keeping Jose happy should not be our priority. While he played well as the Starter for that span of games, as soon as Lowry's conditioning is back up to speed (which judging by last night, it is) Jose should be back on the bench.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Jose supporter. But we've got a Draft Pick invested in Lowry, and he is a supremely more talented ballplayer than Jose; and if we start mucking about with his Starters Role, he's only got 2 years to change his mind on this organization. And though he has been an absolutely PRO throughout this ordeal, do what you gotta do to the Talent happy.

    Its unfortunate we have to deal with yet another "PG Controversy", but it is what is it, and you have to stick with the best of the two options.
    Last edited by Joey; Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 11:11 AM.
    "I just dunked. Got a little dunk. That’s nice." Terrence Ross

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    For whatever reason, Calderon was atrocious last night. It's okay that his shot isn't falling, because he runs the offense fine in any case. But his defense on Vazquez continually let NO stay in the game, and messed up all of the defensive rotations. Casey had to pull him just to stop the bleeding.

    I was becoming a bit skeptical about Lowry, but I really liked his game last night. He obviously learned something from his time on the bench and was clearly trying to facilitate. When he did play an aggressive offensive game, it was warranted and with deadly efficiency. If Lowry can see this as his best way of playing, then he is a much stronger player than Calderon, who gives up way too much on defense to be a legitimate long-term starter.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Bouncepass wrote: View Post
    For whatever reason, Calderon was atrocious last night. It's okay that his shot isn't falling, because he runs the offense fine in any case. But his defense on Vazquez continually let NO stay in the game, and messed up all of the defensive rotations. Casey had to pull him just to stop the bleeding.

    I was becoming a bit skeptical about Lowry, but I really liked his game last night. He obviously learned something from his time on the bench and was clearly trying to facilitate. When he did play an aggressive offensive game, it was warranted and with deadly efficiency. If Lowry can see this as his best way of playing, then he is a much stronger player than Calderon, who gives up way too much on defense to be a legitimate long-term starter.
    Here is what I thought was strange last night:

    1) Jose was constantly caught up on screens. Which to me means 2 things happened. He was either supposed to fight over every screen and the defense read it and used it to their advantage, or his teammate didn't warn him a screen was coming. Given that Vazquez isn't exactly a light out shooter I find it difficult to believe the plan was to fight over every screen no matter what.

    2) There was absolutely nothing resembling hedging on the screens. If a defender isn't even going to threaten to show a hedge they might aswell just switch (which honestly should be a last resort decision).

    So either Jose was consistently making the worst defensive decisions of his life, or there was a plan in place that wasn't working. Either way the result wasn't pretty.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    If a defender isn't even going to threaten to show a hedge they might aswell just switch (which honestly should be a last resort decision).
    This is what drives me crazy. Switching should NOT be a viable option in a good defense.
    "I just dunked. Got a little dunk. That’s nice." Terrence Ross

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