I see Lowry becoming too much of a guy that just plays in the middle of the court. He barely ever gets as far as the freethrow line anymore. Maybe the injury is holding his activity level back some, effecting his handle and the trust in his own shot.
As for the poor aesthetics or just the poor fundamentals apparent in this offense, i think some of that can be credited to defenses becoming more Thibadeaued to the point where ball movement needs to be very precise with 5 guys being very aware, comfortable and in sync with each other, and even then they might get a fair amount of threes at best. The game is becoming loaded on the defensive end as it was in the 90’s, with some of the physicality replaced with the ability to take away space to operate legally whereas then they had to try to get away with guarding space for brief periods before committing to defending a man.
I can remember seeing endless possessions where Mark Jackson slowly backed into his man before someone finally committed to doubling him and he hit the open man, or he found someone cutting that he could make a pass to, or he could take advantage of a mismatch with whoever was guarding him. It was isoisoisoiso. And today the only real options that remain would be trying to take advantage of a mismatch early in the clock. The double team would not have to come until he made his move, and the pass to a cutter would tend to be taken away by zoned out coverage of passing lanes. Aside from taking his own shot, he would be looking at sending the ball out to the perimeter or to a guy the defense would be happy to see take a midrange jumper.
Now don't get me wrong - ball movement has always been the ideal, and most effective way to get results from everyone on the floor. But sustaining the kind of really good ball movement that can get it done is a challenge. It can be a challenge for Miami. Portland was great at it, but it only gave them so much (barely anything inside) and they still had to go to overtime where they won with ridiculous shots way beyond the arc.
I just think from year to year we are seeing more teams figuring out how to best stymie good offensive play. This team that is so ugly and unacceptable, is afterall better than half the league in terms of production.