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Raptors Power Ranking Poll Week 7: Livin' Large with Lowry

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In response to ESPN's Power Rankings, each week we'll decide: Are the Raptors being ranked fairly or unfairly?

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Chatter for the NBA All-Star has been picking up lately (whaddup #NBABallot) and with it, a renewed belief that this will be the year Kyle Lowry makes the team. And why not? With the Raptors' DeMar DeRozan still injured, leadership of the Raps has fallen solely to Lowry and his relentless efforts.

With a Player of the Week award under his belt, and averages of 19.7 points and 7.6 assists through 24 games, Lowry's got the chops. Still, the NBA fan is one of habit and name recognition:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>John Wall has played out of his mind, Kyle Lowry has been just behind him, yet expect Irving, Rose or Rondo to get voted starter for East.</p>&mdash; Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) <a href="https://twitter.com/WolstatSun/status/544573619100467201">December 15, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I don't want to be too negative here, but this sentiment feels unfortunately true. Still, good ol'Stein Mo has Lowry's back:

8
Toronto
18-6
1
Last Week: 9
When DeMar DeRozan makes it back from that groin tear, he'll return to find that Kyle Lowry has grown in stature. The latest illustrations: Lowry's recent 39-point eruption in Utah, his robust PER of 23.22 and all the Chauncey Billups comparisons he's been sparking as a Billups-esque late bloomer.

The Raptors had a 3-1 week, which feels corrective after a brief .500 stretch. (Though seriously, let's not talk about that one loss. The hurt is real.) Toronto continues to win the games it should definitely win. The team is at 18-6 now and if it weren't for the insane pileup of mega teams in the West, presumably the Raps would be ranked higher.

Let's just say name recognition is something the Raptors are getting now too.

Is that fair to say? Let's go to the poll.