Name: Kyle Lowry
2012-13 statistics: 68 games played, 29.7 minutes, 11.6 points, 40.1% from the field, 36.2% from three-point range, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, 2.3 turnovers, 17.51 PER
Comparison: Kyle Lowry is like Spider-Man 3 (2007 film)
Of all of the things in the world to compare Mr. Lowry to, why on earth would I choose a Spider-Man movie from five years ago?
Don't worry, I have my reasons.
A lot of expectations were thrusted upon Spider-Man 3 before its release back in April 2007. The character Venom was making his highly anticipated debut in the series, so you knew this trilogy was (more than likely) going to go out with a bang. The trailers seemed decent enough, so needless to say, there were many Spider-Man fans (including myself) who were sweating with anticipation for this giant blockbuster of a movie.
Well, unfortunately, this movie stunk up the joint.
Sure, it made a ton of money (A domestic total gross of $336, 530, 303), but it never lived up to the hype in the eyes of many, including yours truly.
I'm not going to get into specifics, because this isn't Rotten Tomatoes or anything, but what all of this does is lead into my evaluation for Kyle Lowry.
In year one with the Toronto Raptors, Lowry was EXACTLY like Spider-Man 3.
I was excited when Bryan Colangelo made the deal with the Houston Rockets to acquire Lowry. I hadn't seen a lot of him prior to joining the team, but his numbers gave me some hope that he would turn out to be one of the final pieces this roster needed to get over the hump in the Eastern Conference.
Personally, I put a lot of personal hype on Kyle Lowry before he even stepped foot on the court for Toronto, which was probably unwarranted at the time.
I truly believed that having both Lowry and Jose Calderon as our interchangeable point guards would work. Kyle was the threat on offense, while Jose was better suited as the floor general, getting the ball to his teammates on a more consistant basis than his counterpart.
Well, that didn't work out to well either. An injury to Lowry ultimately cost him his job as a starter, causing yet another controversy at the point guard position, something which this franchise knows all to well.
To be fair, Kyle was rarely ever at 100% strength throughout the season. He battled injuries in training camp, got hurt again in December and never fully recovered from there, both physically and mentally.
It was frustrating.
Just like Spider-Man 3.
At the start of the movie, things were looking good. As time wore on, and I saw more and more of the film, I was left shaking my head as to what the heck was going on.
That's how I felt about Kyle Lowry.
He never lived up to those lofty expectations, and he would be the first to agree with that statement. There was never that trust there with him and coach Dwane Casey. Even with Jose out of the picture, there was never that belief that this was Lowry's team.
That needs to change.
Lowry needs to get healthy. That's the key thing.
I'm not overly concerned with his play heading into next season. Whether he remains with the Raptors long-term or not, he's going to be playing for his next contract, so we could very well be on the verge of seeing the best Kyle Lowry we've ever seen.
Personally, I'd love to see him become more of a facilitator, rather than someone who brings the ball up the court to chuck up shots, but improving his ability to lead his teammates on the court will probably become a priority of his this summer.
Speaking of the summer, forming more of a bond and relationship with coach Casey will be extremely important. The starting point guard and the head coach need to be on the same page.
FINAL GRADE FOR 2012-13 SEASON: C -