After the Miami Heat came up just short in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, Pat Riley challenged Kyle Lowry to get in world-class shape. When asked about Riley’s comments during media day last month, Lowry said he didn’t hear it.
Kyle Lowry said he didn’t hear Pat Riley’s comment about conditioning but was told about it pic.twitter.com/s8wjK9STTj— Five Reasons Sports (@5ReasonsSports) September 26, 2022
If Heat fans didn’t like that energy, last week’s season opener against the Chicago Bulls was even more frustrating. The 2019 NBA champion scored just two points, and several of his five 3-point attempts came up short.
But now two more games are in the books. Lowry scored 17 points in Friday’s loss to the Boston Celtics and another 17 in last night’s win over the Toronto Raptors. His 3-point shot looks better. In crunch time against Toronto, Lowry made a nice pass to Max Strus for a cutting dunk.
With 41 seconds left, Lowry made another clutch play — this time, a driving layup to make it a 111-103 game.
Last season, many wondered why Kyle Lowry didn’t take more shots. Some of it was cruising during the regular season — but then, Lowry injured his hamstring in the first round and never offered a vintage playoff performance. After his abysmal debut to the 2022-23 season, some labeled Lowry as done.
He’s not done. The Heat need Lowry to catalyze the offense and offer 15-20 points a game. If he throws in an occasional 25-30-point game, that’s great. Yes, it is true that Precious Achiuwa — whom the Heat traded, along with Goran Dragic, for Lowry — out-scored Lowry. (And Achiuwa’s two corner 3s led some to wonder where Miami went wrong with developing him, but that’s a discussion for another day.) But Lowry did his job last night.
Precious Achiuwa is outscoring Kyle Lowry. Insert trade take here.— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) October 23, 2022
Lowry had an uneven first season with the Heat — a personal issue caused him to miss 13 games, and he was sub-par in the playoffs. But these last two games are something to build on.