Having lost four of their last five games, the Toronto Raptors are going through possibly the roughest patches of their season.
All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, who is not one to deflect, assumed some of the blame for the team's struggles following their most recent loss to the LA Clippers.
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"I've had two good games (since coming back) and the rest have been s-, to be honest," Lowry told reporters post game, per TSN's Josh Lewenberg. "Once I get back to where I was at the beginning of the season it'll be great, but right now I'm just trying to work my way back."
The five-time All-Star continued, adding that, "right now I'm nowhere near where I want to and need to be."
In the five games since his return from injury, Lowry is averaging 14.8 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds but is shooting 28.6% from the field and 20.5% from deep.
The two good games that he is referring to are his 19-point (on 5-for-8 shooting) performance against the Houston Rockets and his 26-point (on 7-for-14 shooting) performance in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Aside from those two, Lowry has gone:
- 2-for-18 vs. the Miami Heat
- 3-for-15 vs. the Chicago Bulls
- And most recently 1-for-8 against the Clippers.
To contrast, the 33-year-old was averaging 24.0 points, 6.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 48.1% from the field and 42.9% from deep prior to suffering a thumb injury eight games into the season.
And while the team's recent slump coincides with Lowry's return, it appears to be just that. A coincidence.
Reincorporating players into the lineup is hard as is, but the Raptors have now been forced to deal with an injury to Fred VanVleet, who has missed the team's last two games.
There's been a team-wide rhythm issue that can be attributed to the lineup shifts but head coach Nick Nurse essentially doubled down on Lowry's assertion, saying that the team as a whole has to "get back to who we are."
TSN's Lewenberg even used the numbers to illustrate the stark contrast between the team's first 15 games and their most recent five.
Raptors over their first 19 games (15-4): 46% FG, 40% 3P.- Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) December 12, 2019
Raptors over their last 5 games (1-4): 40% FG, 27% 3P.
As the team's leader, the Raptors often go as Lowry does and while they anxiously await VanVleet's return, Toronto will need its All-Star guard to get where he wants and needs to be sooner rather than later.
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