Lowry looks to lead
Old 09-27-2012, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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TORONTO - Kyle Lowry hails from the City of Brotherly Love. So it’s no surprise that when asked about playing alongside the Raptors’ incumbent point guard, Jose Calderon, this season, he was all smiles and sunshine.

“We’re both guys who are going to give our all. We’re going to go try to help the team win. And no matter what happens, we’re both going to be professional,” said Lowry, a young player whom many believe is on the verge of NBA stardom. “We’re teammates. This is a team. This is one team, one goal, one everything.”

Yeah, except there’s only one starting point guard per team, and it will be interesting to see what happens once Toronto head coach Dwane Casey decides who his starter at the one spot will be. Chances are that Lowry, acquired in the off-season for Gary Forbes and a future first round pick, will get the nod. If he does, Calderon — despite words to the contrary this week — will not be overjoyed. Conversely, if Casey decides to start the veteran Calderon, you know Lowry won’t be impressed. The Philadelphia native was, after all, brought into Toronto for his toughness, work ethic, leadership and defensive tenacity — and scoring touch. He wasn’t brought in to play limited minutes. Calderon is more of a pass-first PG who is not particularly strong at the defensive end of the floor. Casey suggested earlier this week that Calderon might be better utilized coming off the bench to help provide scoring — an area of weakness last season.

In any event, both Calderon and Lowry were asked this week about playing with the other guy — and possibly losing the starting job to the other guy — and both were diplomatic. There have been suggestions that Calderon is one foot out the door anyway and will be moved once GM Bryan Colangelo can pull off the right trade which, of course, would make the starting point guard discussion rather mute. But until that happens (if it does happen), there’s going to be an interesting dynamic in Raptorland, though the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that Lowry brings a much-needed dimension to an organization long dogged with a reputation for being soft and lacking on-court leadership. Casey described his new point guard as a “pit bull”. Not the first time that comparison has been made.

Even when Lowry’s delivering season tickets to a nice family out in Etobicoke, and exchanging good-natured small talk, there’s a definite undercurrent of toughness and grit to the young man, who when told by the lady of the house that her husband was in Australia, replied: “Better there than here.” (Apparently, he meant from a weather perspective. It was cool and overcast on Wednesday).

“I just go out there and play,” said Lowry, who was enjoying an all-star calibre type year last season before suffering a groin injury and bacterial infection in March. “I’m trying to do anything it takes to help my team win. So for coach to give me that compliment, I accept it. I’m a winner and that’s what I want to do.”

Though he’s a new kid on the block, Lowry does believe that he can be a leader on the Raptors. Calderon is also a leader, but more of a quiet-type. The Philly Pit Bull, it’s been noted, won’t hesitate to bark at his teammates (and even his coach), if he feels they’re not competing up to his level.

“I definitely feel like I am the leader, I am a leader that can push my teammates and get after it and I think guys will follow me,” he said. “So as long as I come out there and show what I can do and be attacking and professional and do what I know how to do, it’s definitely going to do some good.”

Lowry, 26, has heard the talk about how he is a step away from establishing himself as a tier-one NBA point guard and how he probably needs an entire season like the start of last year (when he averaged 15.6 points and 7.6 assists) to reach that lofty destination. But he’s up for the challenge.

“Just play,” he said, when asked what it will take to become an NBA all-star. “Just do what I’m allowed to do and to prove to (the Raptors organization) that they’re right for making the decision to bring me up here and believing in me.”
Lowry looks to lead | Raptors | Sports | Toronto Sun
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Saw Stumpy on NBAtv ask him about how he perceived Toronto and whether he felt like he had been sent to an outpost. Fucking brutal, and I'm glad to see he didn't use it in his piece. Just stop asking guys to say something nice about Toronto like some insecure twat. Nobody is going to say "oh hell I hate this place", and in the meantime you've planted a seed wherein the guy is going to wonder why he should be hating this place so much.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lowry is the best player on the Raps. That statement alone as compared to the last two years means the team is a whole lot better. When your best player the last two years was Mr. Primo Pasta, you're in Secacus, NJ every May with a good shot to get the No. 1 pick.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Saw Stumpy on NBAtv ask him about how he perceived Toronto and whether he felt like he had been sent to an outpost. Fucking brutal, and I'm glad to see he didn't use it in his piece. Just stop asking guys to say something nice about Toronto like some insecure twat. Nobody is going to say "oh hell I hate this place", and in the meantime you've planted a seed wherein the guy is going to wonder why he should be hating this place so much.
Agreed. I saw that and rolled my eyes. I think it went like "How did you feel when you heard you were coming to toronto, knowing the perceived view that this in an outpost in NBA circles".

Oh and i gotta say bringing up cold weather to a guy from Philadelphia is ridiculous. These guys seriously need more training.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RAPMAN View Post
Lowry is the best player on the Raps. That statement alone as compared to the last two years means the team is a whole lot better. When your best player the last two years was Mr. Primo Pasta, you're in Secacus, NJ every May with a good shot to get the No. 1 pick.
He's the best defensive player in Raps.. However, I would say Barg is still our best offensive player and go-to-guy in a close game.

You have to make it clear on offensive/defensive perspective. I would leave playmaking, defense or whatever.. to Lowry, but I wouldn't allow him to shoot the clutch shots, considering his brutal FG%...
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wchoi213 View Post
He's the best defensive player in Raps.. However, I would say Barg is still our best offensive player and go-to-guy in a close game.

You have to make it clear on offensive/defensive perspective. I would leave playmaking, defense or whatever.. to Lowry, but I wouldn't allow him to shoot the clutch shots, considering his brutal FG%...
I want Lowry shooting the last shot, i dont think i trust anyone else looking at the past years.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He's the best defensive player in Raps.. However, I would say Barg is still our best offensive player and go-to-guy in a close game.

You have to make it clear on offensive/defensive perspective. I would leave playmaking, defense or whatever.. to Lowry, but I wouldn't allow him to shoot the clutch shots, considering his brutal FG%...
2010-11
Lowry- 42 FG%, 37 3PT%

Bargnani- 44 FG%, 34 3PT%


2011-12
Lowry- 41 FG%, 37 3PT%

Bargnani- 43 FG%, 29 3PT%


Ultimately it depends on who is having the better game, if that person is doubled late and what's drawn up. I would take either of them taking the last shot.

1- Bargnani
1A- Lowry
2- Calderon
3- Kleiza, Ross, Fields

Last edited by jeffb; 09-27-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
2010-11
Lowry- 42 FG%, 37 3PT%

Bargnani- 44 FG%, 34 3PT%


2011-12
Lowry- 41 FG%, 37 3PT%

Bargnani- 43 FG%, 29 3PT%


Ultimately it depends on who is having the better game, if that person is doubled late and what's drawn up. I would take either of them taking the last shot.

1- Bargnani
1A- Lowry
2- Calderon
3- Kleiza, Ross, Fields
Yea, Barg has higher FG% - I wouldn't worry about 3pts much, as clutch moment is more about if we scored or not, rather than was it 2 or 3?

Barg has ability to draw a mismatch of defender and he makes easy shots against small dudes, while Lowry does not have that option...

I would argue that it is better to go with safer option.. I like Lowry and have respect for his skill sets. But he just doesn't give me a strong impression that he will drop winning shots for us in a reliable way.

So I would say, let Lowry make more shots in 1-3rd quarter, but leave 4th quarter to Barg! or until we get underrated Superstar like Harden in 2013 FA market.

Last edited by wchoi213; 09-27-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yea, Barg has higher FG% - I wouldn't worry about 3pts much, as clutch moment is more about if we scored or not, rather than was it 2 or 3?

Barg has ability to draw a mismatch of defender and he makes easy shots against small dudes, while Lowry does not have that option...

I would argue that it is better to go with safer option.. I like Lowry and have respect for his skill sets. But he just doesn't give me a strong impression that he will drop winning shots for us in a reliable way.

So I would say, let Lowry roll in 1-3rd quarter, but leave 4th quarter to Barg! or until we get underrated Superstar like Harden in 2013 FA market.
Actually, i would say that lowry has more of a reputation of hitting the big shot more than Bargnani does.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually, i would say that lowry has more of a reputation of hitting the big shot more than Bargnani does.
You're thinking about the final shot... it's not the same thing.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Actually, i would say that lowry has more of a reputation of hitting the big shot more than Bargnani does.
Let's say they are equivalently reliable in the clutch moment. You know what I realized though... We should be glad that we have more offensive "OPTIONS" to choose when it comes to the last minute of 4th quarter
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
2010-11
Lowry- 42 FG%, 37 3PT%

Bargnani- 44 FG%, 34 3PT%


2011-12
Lowry- 41 FG%, 37 3PT%

Bargnani- 43 FG%, 29 3PT%


Ultimately it depends on who is having the better game, if that person is doubled late and what's drawn up. I would take either of them taking the last shot.

1- Bargnani
1A- Lowry
2- Calderon
3- Kleiza, Ross, Fields
I'd like to see DD before Kleiza, Ross and Fields. Just saying.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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it's a rather simplistic way to compare offensive players just by FG%, not sure how relevant are the conclusions from that exercise.

Personally, I think Bargnani is a much superior offensive player to lowry, because:

1. he can score a lot more points with higher efficiency. It's one thing to score 15 and quite another to score 22. Efficiency is bound to suffer.

2. he has better range, he can really shoot from anywhere in the offense.

3. subjectively, he's drawing a lot more attention than lowry did in Houston. He's always guarded by the best defender on the opposing team and was frequently double teamed, partly because we had nobody else to punish them.

4. related to #3, often he had to shoot in really tough conditions because we were so inept offensively the past two years. So his FG% suffered greatly as a result. When Bosh was still here in his last season, Bargnani shot a lot better. Houston had a much more balanced offensive team, with martin, scola and even dalembert/parson providing significant offensive help for lowry.

This year, with the addition of fields and lowry in the starting lineup, I think Bargnani's offense will benefit greatly and we'll see percentages climbing significantly.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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it's a rather simplistic way to compare offensive players just by FG%, not sure how relevant are the conclusions from that exercise.

Personally, I think Bargnani is a much superior offensive player to lowry, because:

1. he can score a lot more points with higher efficiency. It's one thing to score 15 and quite another to score 22. Efficiency is bound to suffer.

2. he has better range, he can really shoot from anywhere in the offense.

3. subjectively, he's drawing a lot more attention than lowry did in Houston. He's always guarded by the best defender on the opposing team and was frequently double teamed, partly because we had nobody else to punish them.

4. related to #3, often he had to shoot in really tough conditions because we were so inept offensively the past two years. So his FG% suffered greatly as a result. When Bosh was still here in his last season, Bargnani shot a lot better. Houston had a much more balanced offensive team, with martin, scola and even dalembert/parson providing significant offensive help for lowry.

This year, with the addition of fields and lowry in the starting lineup, I think Bargnani's offense will benefit greatly and we'll see percentages climbing significantly.
I think you were about right with your first point, and then made excuses for Bargnani. Yes his percentages were better three years ago. He also scored closer to 15 than 22. And he didn't average 22 last season either, though within range. Still, efficiency is bound to suffer, and it certainly did quite often.

It will come down to who is more reliable creating their own shot while also being able to find the better shot that could result. Until Bargnani shows himself as a reliable passer, I'd probably look to Lowry to initiate the offence, finish the play if his shot is there, or pass it, perhaps to Bargnani, who should indeed improve his percentages thanks to such scenarios.

Personally, I think they are a player away from a really good situation for either guy. Maybe that player arises, or they make a deal.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Personally, I think they are a player away from a really good situation for either guy. Maybe that player arises, or they make a deal.
This team is a significant SF away from really making some noise imo. Rudy Gay would be ideal. But i have my doubts that would ever happen.

Lowry
Derozan
Gay
Bargs
Val

^ Home court in the playoffs
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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This team is a significant SF away from really making some noise imo. Rudy Gay would be ideal. But i have my doubts that would ever happen.

Lowry
Derozan
Gay
Bargs
Val

^ Home court in the playoffs
maybe a few years down the line depending on what happens to other teams... but im not sold on top 4
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think you were about right with your first point, and then made excuses for Bargnani. Yes his percentages were better three years ago. He also scored closer to 15 than 22. And he didn't average 22 last season either, though within range. Still, efficiency is bound to suffer, and it certainly did quite often.

It will come down to who is more reliable creating their own shot while also being able to find the better shot that could result. Until Bargnani shows himself as a reliable passer, I'd probably look to Lowry to initiate the offence, finish the play if his shot is there, or pass it, perhaps to Bargnani, who should indeed improve his percentages thanks to such scenarios.

Personally, I think they are a player away from a really good situation for either guy. Maybe that player arises, or they make a deal.
You have a point about his scoring being much lower alongside Bosh, but I disagree about the other stuff. Sure, they are excuses, but I think they are valid ones. He was our only offensive threat for two years and he was targeted by opposing teams with priority. Add to that the adjustment period he had to go through after Bosh left, where he suddenly had to face a new level of attention and the fairly serious injury last season and those shooting percentages should be looked at with caution. Of course, kyle's percentages plummeted after he returned from his injury, so it goes both ways.

Nevertheless, I'm not arguing that Bargnani should initiate the offense, or that he should take the last shot. I'm just saying that Bargnani is a better offensive player than lowry right now. Let's put it like this, if Bargnani defended like lowry, he would be an all star ...
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
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maybe a few years down the line depending on what happens to other teams... but im not sold on top 4
it's impossible to tell with so many unknowns. IF all of our assets were maximized, even #2 would be possible. But with so many players having such a wide range, from rotation player to possibile all star, how can you predict.

Lowry, demar, andrea and JV all have all star potential. obviously, if all 4 get to the all star game, we'd be in a great shape if we were to also add an all-star/near all star SF.

This season will answer so many questions, if we stay healthy.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Saw Stumpy on NBAtv ask him about how he perceived Toronto and whether he felt like he had been sent to an outpost. Fucking brutal, and I'm glad to see he didn't use it in his piece. Just stop asking guys to say something nice about Toronto like some insecure twat. Nobody is going to say "oh hell I hate this place", and in the meantime you've planted a seed wherein the guy is going to wonder why he should be hating this place so much.
It's a completely valid question and one I am interested in hearing answered honestly.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:31 AM   #20 (permalink)
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You have a point about his scoring being much lower alongside Bosh, but I disagree about the other stuff. Sure, they are excuses, but I think they are valid ones. He was our only offensive threat for two years and he was targeted by opposing teams with priority. Add to that the adjustment period he had to go through after Bosh left, where he suddenly had to face a new level of attention and the fairly serious injury last season and those shooting percentages should be looked at with caution. Of course, kyle's percentages plummeted after he returned from his injury, so it goes both ways.

Nevertheless, I'm not arguing that Bargnani should initiate the offense, or that he should take the last shot. I'm just saying that Bargnani is a better offensive player than lowry right now. Let's put it like this, if Bargnani defended like lowry, he would be an all star ...
I still see AB take way too many bad shots. Again, that goes back to his undeveloped passing game. Seeing extra defenders is not a reason to resort to chucking. When he takes good, disciplined shots, I can agree that he is efficient. Hopefully, with the implementation of an offensive approach under Casey this season, he will have something more to keep him disciplined.
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