Top Stories

Kyle Lowry off to slow start in Toronto Raptors' new approach to offense

From NBA media reports

The Toronto Raptors made it clear in the offseason that, as a team, they would be looking to pass more in 2017-18. Point guard Kyle Lowry knows first hand how that change in philosophy has affected the team and himself, as he’s off to a markedly slower start this season (11.9 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, 6.6 assists per game) than he was after the first nine games of 2016-17 (17.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.8 apg).

Lowry has yet to break the 20-point mark this season and while he did log a triple-double on Oct. 27 against the Los Angeles Lakers, is having a hard time getting his offense going. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star has more on Lowry’s early woes and how he’s trying to find his way:

“We’re not doing as many pick-and-roll plays — we’re running a few, some drags in transition — but when other teams score we’re in our open series and it’s about getting off the ball and moving and cutting and reading,” Lowry said after the Raptors’ practice Monday afternoon. “Right now I’m just trying to figure it out and trying to work within the offence. I’m not trying to force anything. I’m just trying to find my way through it.”

Lowry didn’t want to discuss his two-technical ejection in Sunday’s loss to Washington — “You know I ain’t going to say nothing about it because I’m not getting fined . . . simple as that,” he said — but he was more than willing to chat about his place in an offence that has moved away from a pick-and-roll-dominated system centred on Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to a more free-flowing, read-and-react style.

The 31-year-old veteran remains a bit mystified about why it hasn’t clicked for him yet.

“I don’t know, man, honestly,” he said. “I think the way we’re moving the ball, the ball’s not in my hands as much. They want me to just try to get everyone involved and, for me, I’ve been used to having the ball in my hands . . . (If) I don’t have the ball I can’t read the defence as much as I usually could before.

“Last couple years, Coach would give me the game for the first five, six, seven minutes. I could feel out the game and get passes off and get everyone involved and now it’s like everyone has to be involved from the jump. For me, it’s getting off the ball, moving and cutting, and it just hasn’t been there for me yet.​”

* * *