The Miami Heat acquired point guard Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors last summer in a sign and trade for Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa. This move had been a long time coming, as they were close to picking up Lowry at the deadline of the 20’-21’ season.
At the time Miami landed him, Lowry was coming off a year with averages of 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. He is a six-time All-Star and a 2019 NBA Champion. It had been rumored for quite some time that Lowry had his sights on Miami. He has a very close relationship with Jimmy Butler, and like many players around the league, has always had respect for the organization and the culture that has been built here.
Injuries, off the court personal issues, and not being in Miami Heat shape all year long made it difficult at times for Lowry this past season. He still showed flashes of his All-Star self, he even had a few games where he recorded a triple-double or pretty close to it.
When he is engaged and in a groove, he is still a player that can do damage to opponents. Not only just offensively, but defensively as well. We all know how great he is at drawing those charges. Miami as a team led the entire NBA in charges drawn last season, and with nearly double the amount of the second closest team in Houston. That all stems down from Lowry, his high basketball IQ, and his leadership.
Also known as QB1, his presence on and off the court was a big reason for Miami’s success last year and securing that number 1 seed. There were many games where Jimmy and even Bam were both out due to injuries, and led by Lowry the Heat embraced that “next man up” mentality.
In a statement win in Phoenix, the number 1 seed in the entire NBA at the time, there were many players in and out of the line up at the time. However, Lowry was there to beautifully orchestrate the offense for the rest of the guys and hit some big shots in the process. Right when the team and him were hitting their stride, Lowry unexpectedly began to be in and out of the line-up himself. He was struggling with some off-the-court personal issues, and even though the team was able to get by, he was greatly missed.
Lowry impacts Miami positively in many ways. The first thing is that he is a winner. He brings championship experience and a winning mentality to the locker room. More importantly however, he brings the ability to make the players around him better. Most notably Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. Bam finally gets a true point guard and floor general that can create offense and set him up for easy opportunities. He can also take a lot of pressure off of Jimmy.
Over the last few years Jimmy has been a point forward. At times he brings the ball up and runs the offense, but with Lowry in the picture he doesn’t need to do that nearly as much. He can trust Lowry to do his thing and get Jimmy the ball in his spots and let him go to work.
The playoffs is where the real difficulty on the court began for our starting point guard. He suffered from a hamstring strain in the first round against the Atlanta Hawks, and even though he tried to push through, he never looked the same. He was hobbled and clearly a step slower, not in sync with his shot at all. In the one game 3 win against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals he had arguably his best Heat playoff performance. He was hitting timely shots for the team to fend off multiple Boston runs, and had some key deflections and a game winning steal. If Lowry can play like that consistently for an entire playoffs, that alone can elevate this team.
With an entire offseason to put in work, team president Pat Riley challenged Lowry to come back in elite basketball shape. From what pictures and videos have been showing recently, it looks like he has done just that.
The man looks significantly different in just one single offseason of work, and looks ready and primed to have a bounce back year… specifically in the playoffs. After all, Miami brought him here for his playoff experience. His weight and personal issues could be behind him now, and Heat Nation is very ready to see what a rejuvenated Lowry can consistently bring from the start of the season all the way to the very end.