Kyle Lowry could potentially get snubbed as an All-Star this year, but his numbers are right in line with the Eastern Conference’s top point guards.
Since the point guard position is the deepest it’s ever been, not all of the league’s best will make it to the New Orleans. One of those guys is Kyle Lowry, but, when compared to the like of John Wall, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, K-Low has a resume that rivals all of them.
A super-strong December is how Lowry put himself in this position, and he averaged 24.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists while shooting 54 percent from the field and 50.4 from three to close out 2016. He runs the offense that’s on pace to be the most explosive of all time, 116.2 points per 100 possessions, and Lowry’s still a decent defender.
Among the four other guys listed in the table above, Lowry is tied for fourth in scoring at 22.7, but DeMar DeRozan‘s involvement in the offense takes some chances away from Lowry. If he were by himself, Lowry’s scoring clip would be much higher, but he’s he been able to assist DeRozan both figuratively and literally.
Since he’s a devastating three-point shooter, 114 makes (third overall) on 45.6 percent (fifth overall), Lowry is opening the floor up for both DeRozan and himself. Irving and Walker also outstanding shooters at 42 and 40.7 percent, respectively, but they carry the bulk of the offensive load for the team — Kyrie is the interesting one because he and LeBron James take turns being the go-to guy for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Once Lowry is in the paint, he knows where to go with the ball. Whether it’s a dump-off pass to Jonas Valanciunas, a kick-out to Terrence Ross or a lob to DeRozan, Lowry puts him teammates in great scoring positions and Wall (10.0) is the only one of the five to average more assists than him (7.2).
Lowry’s most underrated skill is as a rebounder. At 6-1ish, Lowry isn’t tall by any means, but none of the other guards are better than him on the backboards. He’s fifth among players at his height or shorter with 4.9 boards a night and having a ball handler who can inhale rebounds is dynamic for any team.
Look at Russell Westbrook and James Harden. They’re the NBA’s two best point guards, and they use the glass to their advantage. With the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russ grabs a board and goes coast-to-coast and finishes for himself, or he hands off to one of his bigs down low. Harden and the Houston Rockets are more like the Raptors. Both teams have a plethora of shooters on the outside, and both Lowry and Harden have to get respected for their ability to drive the basket.
Granted, Toronto doesn’t run that often, but they are dangerous when they do, and it’s the reason they’re on pace to have the most efficient offense of all-time.
Already being a starter for the last two All-Star games give Lowry and edge with the voters. They know him. They know his body of work. And, since it’s a popularity contest, that gives him an even greater chance at starting his third in a row.
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