2021-22 Kia Season Preview
10 key questions: Does addition of Kyle Lowry make Miami better?
The hard-nosed veteran point guard will play a key role in the Heat's win-now mission.
For the next 10 days, we’ll be answering one key question surrounding the 2021-22 NBA season. Here’s question three:
What does the addition of Kyle Lowry mean for Miami’s overall success?
The Heat got a lot out of Goran Dragic the last few seasons, even as he played beyond his prime. But Lowry is a straight-up, hard-nosed point guard, the closest thing in the East to Phoenix’s Chris Paul with a championship ring in his possession to boot.
The 6-foot playmaker is 35 but he’s been more productive since turning 30 than before. After averaging 13.5 points and 5.7 assists per game in his first 10 seasons, with a 48.9 effective field-goal percentage and two All-Star selections, Lowry has averaged 17.8 ppg and 7.5 apg since 2016-17 with an effective shooting rate of 54.2% and four All-Star berths.
Defensively, he can pester his ball-handling counterpart and no organization drools more over guys taking charges, a Lowry annoyance, er, specialty. Ideally, his decision-making will get more discipline into Miami’s offense, most notably Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. And it won’t be for lack of trying if he and Bam Adebayo don’t develop a nice alley-oop chemistry.
Lowry isn’t alone in bringing added toughness, with P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris added to the frontcourt. He isn’t the threat to reach and finish at the rim they way he used to, and he averaged just 3.6 foul shots per 36 minutes, second-fewest of his career. Still, Lowry is central to Miami’s win-now mission and he should be fresh after playing his fewest games (46) and the second-fewest minutes (1,601) since his rookie year.
• Which team is poised for a breakout season?
• Which second-year players will flourish?
• Can Hawks build on their playoff success?
• How can Zion improve his game next season?
• How will Kidd help Doncic in Dallas?
• Will experience push Lakers to top of West?
• Are the Nets clearly the team to beat?
• Can the Suns return to The Finals?
• What will be the Bucks’ biggest challenge?
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