A new week has arrived, and the dust has settled. The Toronto Raptors are now focused on how to win more games and move up the standings. They currently sit out of a playoff spot but teams in front of them should be falling fast. The Boston Celtics lost Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger. The Philadelphia 76ers have lost Thaddeus Young. The Raptors are slowly getting healthy with the return of Andrea Bargnani imminent. The focus is now not on the number of wins the team needs but on how these wins will come.
Kyle Lowry was brought in to be the starting point guard and take the Raptors to another level. His physical play and his fearless attitude should have been the key to a Raptors resurgence. Well that didn’t happen. He lost his starting job to the incumbent Jose Calderon and to placate Lowry, Calderon was traded.He has won the job by default.
Having Lowry man the point is not how the Raptors will win more games. Lowry has never proven himself to be a starting point guard in the league. He has always bounced from starting lineup to the bench and vice versa. The team has to look in a different direction. By direction I don’t mean trading for or bringing in another guard. John Lucas III is already on the roster and does a decent job as a back-up.
The direction the team needs to go in is to play its best athletes in the back court. The team needs to get bigger in every position. The team needs to utilize the players that best help them win. DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross and Rudy Gay need to start. The big men can be Amir Johnson and any one of Aaron Gray or Jonus Valunciunas.
This is the best offensive and defensive line-up the Raptors can put on the court. The team has always been dominated by their opposition in the back court. This will lead to a match up nightmare for any team in their conference. Ross will continue his growth. You then will have veterans Bargnani, Alan Anderson and Lowry himself coming off the bench.
The Lowry experiment is over. He is too small to guard Eastern conference point guards. He constantly finds himself under the opposition basket never quick enough to get back and play defense. He has issues keeping quick guards in front of him. The Raptors need to be proactive and not reactive. Playing Gay, DeRozan and Ross together will make the opposition react and change their normal rotations.
Let’s hope coach Dwane Casey has the where with all to make this change. Lowry has gone through this before both with the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets. Both times his attitude dropped and his whining grew leading to the franchises labeling him as a malcontent. I don’t think general manager Brian Colangelo can trade Lowry so for now, let him come off the bench. He then should dominate opposition bench point guards. It’s time for the Raptors to go big.
The worst move any struggling team can make is one they don’t make. Now is the time, with the acquisition of Gay, to change the team’s rotation. This should be the year the Raptors make the playoffs, but if Lowry keeps playing the way he is, they won’t be there in the end.
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