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Toronto Raptors

Is Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry an elite post defender?

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Kyle Lowry (NBA Getty Images)

Danny Green and co-host Harrison Sanford talked to Kyle Lowry about many things on the most recent episode of "Inside the Green Room with Danny Green," but one of their more entertaining discussions revolved around Lowry's post defence.

Green and Lowry went back and forth on the topic for about a minute, ending with Lowry sharing his thought process on when he finds himself having to defend someone on the block.

"Listen, if a guy scores on me, it's going to be over the top," Lowry said. "It's going to be a fadeaway."

"It's going to be a tough bucket," Green responded. "A very tough bucket."

With Lowry often being the smallest player on the floor, it's no surprise that bigger opponents think they have an advantage when he switches onto him. However, as the Toronto Raptors know, it rarely ends well for opposing player.

According to NBA.com, Lowry has defended a total of 65 post-up possessions this season. Opponents have scored 48 points against him for an average of 0.74 points per post-up possession.

That ranks Lowry in the 82nd percentile in terms of how efficiently he defends those plays, putting him ahead of Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons and LeBron James to name a few.

Lowry's success defending post-ups isn't simply a case of small sample size either, as almost 100 players have defended 50-plus post-up possessions on the season. Of those players, only nine - seven forwards/centres and two guards - have had more success getting stops.

Helping Lowry's case? He also ranked highly as a post-up defender in each of the last two seasons, finishing in the 50th percentile in 2017-18 and the 81st percentile in 2016-17.

At 6-foot-1 with 6-foot-2 wingspan, Lowry does have limitations that prevents him from being someone who can switch as liberally as some of the aforementioned players. But what's important is that he is more than capable of holding his own in those situations.

As Green said, that has a way of taking teams out of their offence, because it's hard to believe a player Lowry's size can defend post-ups as well as the numbers suggest.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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