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Toronto Raptors

According to Kyle Lowry, continuity and confidence are keys to Toronto Raptors' success

For the fifth consecutive year, Kyle Lowry had the honour of representing the Toronto Raptors as a member of the NBA All-Star team. With a new coach, new running mate and a number of other changes abound, Lowry's ability to continue to perform at an All-Star level is an outstanding achievement in itself.

When discussing his high-level play, the 13-year veteran credited Nick Nurse's coaching philosophy: "He's letting me do me. He's letting me go out there and giving [me] the opportunity to just be a point guard, play my game, kinda put the guys in situations."

In addition to Nurse, Lowry continued by adding that his teammates have had a hand in the way he's been able to play: "You know with the team we have, it's kind of easy - it's really easy going out there."

Through 47 games this season, Lowry is averaging 14.3 points, 9.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds in just over 34 minutes of action - his 9.2 assists per game are second in the league behind only Russell Westbrook.

Toronto entered the All-Star break with an NBA-best six-game win streak and the league's second-best record at 43-16, which, according to Lowry, are a product of the team being on the same page.

"We're having a great year, we got a bunch of professional guys, we've got some veteran guys. We've got a big goal in hand and I think that makes everything a lot easier to be on the same page."

While they've been on the same page, the Raptors have dealt with a number of injuries this season - the All-Star duo of Lowry and Kawhi Leonard have missed a combined 28 games and reserve guard Fred VanVleet will likely be sidelined until late March after undergoing thumb surgery.

Through the adversity of the injuries, Lowry admits a positive takeaway is the boost in confidence within the players that saw increased time in the lineup: "Everybody had to step up, so everyone has the confidence to go out there, do their job, make some shots, make plays and [understand] that we all believe in each other.

"With injuries coming to myself, Kawhi, us adding Marc, us being [down] to nine players - everyone has the confidence to go out there and just do their job."

With just 23 games remaining in the 2018-19 season, each individual on the Raptors' ability to "do their job" will be key, as the team jockeys for a spot atop the Eastern Conference and prepares to make a deep postseason run.

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