Don't look now, but Jeremy Lin is slowing starting to figure it out in Toronto.
Lin's averages of 12.5 points on 56% shooting is more reminiscent of the player Raptors' fans thought they would get to help sure up their bench.
He looked out of place in his first few outings with Toronto - understandable given he likely didn't want to step on any toes and disrupt the flow of what's been one of the NBA's most consistent teams. On the whole, he seemed to be overthinking and lacked the confidence that made him special.
In comes Kyle Lowry, the Raptors' heart and soul, to the rescue. In the past two games, Lowry has made a point to get Lin the rock in places he can be successful. He's also made a point to let Lin play his game and do his thing.
Entering last Friday's game against the Pelicans, Lin had been struggling to find his shot especially from the land beyond. The remedy for poor shooting has long been seeing the ball go through the rim at close range.
Midway through the fourth quarter of that game and with the Raptors already in control, OG Annunoby came up with a steal that sparked a fast break. Norman Powell did a terrific job of forcing the defence to commit before finding Lowry who could've laid it up easily, but instead, went out of his way to find Lin for the deuce.
It may have been Lowry's 10th assist of the night, but this wasn't stat hunting. Had it been any other player streaking down the wing, Lowry would've taken the two himself. But he knew it was Lin, he knows he needs Lin for the playoffs and he wanted him to finish that play and see the ball go through the bucket.
Later in the same game, Lin pulled down a rebound with Lowry nearby. Instead of hollering at Lin for the rock as most point guards would've done, Lowry sprinted the other way and Lin came down the court with confidence. Julius Randle played off Lin just a tad and got a triple in his grill as a result. The way Lin stepped into that three was like if he had always had a neon green light to shoot transition threes. While Lowry doesn't get the assist, or any mention in the boxscore, him simply staying out of the way on that play was enough for Lin to know it's ok to take and make that shot.
On Sunday against the Heat, Lowry again showed his resolve to get Lin going. Midway through the fourth, Lowry caught a swing pass from Marc Gasol and couldn't have been more open on the shoulder three. Instead of taking it, he sucked the defence in and found Lin in the corner for a three right in front of the Heat bench. Again it was Lowry's 10th assist of the night, but once again he wasn't hunting it and probably wouldn't have passed up the look if it wasn't Jeremy Lin standing there ready to shoot.
Kyle Lowry took a lot of flak midway through the season for his play and rightfully so. But as of late he's playing great basketball, and once again making his teammates feel comfortable on the floor in a new situation.
The Raptors don't need Jeremy Lin to bring back Linsanity. But with Kyle Lowry's help, he's starting to find his groove which couldn't come at a better time for the Finals-minded Raptors.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.