The bloody year.
Off Rtg: 113.8 (2nd of 30) Def Rtg: 105.9 (5th of 30)
3. Serge Ibaka, 12.6 pts, 6.3 reb, 1.3 blk
Jordan losing to the Pistons in ’90. Kobe losing to the Spurs in ’99. The year before the maiden championship is oft forgotten and we’ll look at this season as the blooding of the team which involved finally getting a power forward that could extend the floor, defend the interior and score. As much as the Raptors owe Ibaka he owes them far more for rescuing him out of Orlando. The humanitarian mission that sent Terrence Ross there was one of the great successes of our time, surely to be written in stonelore for millenia.
2. DeMar DeRozan, 23 pts, 3.9 reb, 5.2 ast
A substantial improvement in his passing game had DeRozan even playing point-forward a minute or two teasing us with the prospects of…not sure what. Lack of ball-handling on the team was never an issue. Lack of shooting was. Since he couldn’t hit from deep he chose to make his living at the line and went 7 times a game but, once again, was undone in the post-season. The calls dried up and the FTA went down to 5.3. After shooting 31% from three in the regular season he dipped to 17.6% in the playoffs. Limited by his shooting and the refs entering playoff mode, DeRozan was ineffective in another Cavs 4-0 sweep.
1. Kyle Lowry, 16.2 pts, 6.9 ast, 5.6 reb
It’s fun when your best guy is also your grittiest guy, Kyle has been both most years. The playoff performance improved over previous years, possibly owing to the better management of his minutes throughout the season – he played 78 games and averaged 32.2 minutes. In the end though, Kyrie Irving had his way. Imagine if we had taken the Cavs to seven games and lost, thus giving Dwane Casey a potential reprieve, thus never paving the way for Nick Nurse? We are all indeed the product of our choices.