The Miami Heat’s big 2021 offseason move was a sign-and-trade transaction to give up Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa for Kyle Lowry. The Heat outbid other teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, for Lowry. The NBA even investigated the Heat for tampering violations surrounding the sign-and-trade and forced Miami to give up a future second-round pick, which drew a response from the team.
And Lowry had great moments in his first season with the Heat. During large portions of the season without Bam Adebayo and/or Jimmy Butler, Lowry led a rotation of mostly minimum-salary guys to impressive wins. He brushed aside concerns that he wasn’t aggressive enough shooting the ball, saying that he was “just getting prepared for the real season.”
The real season is here. And Lowry’s hamstring injury from the first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks has hurt the 2019 NBA champion so much that he can’t give much of anything during this playoff run.
In his eight 2022 playoff games, Lowry is averaging 5.6 points per game on 27 percent from the field and 20 percent from the 3-point line. He’s turned the ball over 1.9 times per game and has dished out 4.3 assists per game. His performance in Game 5 last night was hard to watch — zero points, zero assists, three turnovers and five fouls in 25 minutes. Lowry air-balled an open 3-pointer in the third quarter, missing by about a foot.
“I got to play better. I played terrible.” — Kyle Lowry pic.twitter.com/VNJ6f5yEfS— Five Reasons Sports (@5ReasonsSports) May 26, 2022
He’s clearly hurt. Lowry showed some life in the Heat’s gutsy Game 3 win over the Celtics. On Miami’s first possession, he pushed the pace — as he did so often during the regular season — and found Max Strus for a 3.
Lowry's presence is already being felt, he's done a great job all year pushing the pace for the Heat. Lowry attacks the defense, Tatum is slow in transition and he finds Strus for the three. pic.twitter.com/i0GIQyV9aJ— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) May 22, 2022
Lowry scored 11 points in Game 3 — which is actually his high for a playoff game this year. And of course, he came up with a clutch steal in the final minute of the game.
But he hasn’t looked right in Games 4 or 5. He looked hurt in Games 3 and 4 of the Heat’s second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Gabe Vincent has been the better player in the playoffs and should start in tomorrow night’s Game 6.
The Heat have won playoff series when down 3-2 before. LeBron James scored 45 points in Boston in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. Dwyane Wade made clutch 3s in Charlotte in 2016. But with both Jimmy Butler and Lowry clearly limited with injuries, the Heat offense looks too anemic to make a sixth Finals appearance.