Tuesday's edition of ESPN hoops writer Zach Lowe's podcast, The Lowe Post, will be of particular interest to Toronto Raptors fans. Our resident point god/franchise cornerstone/all around good dude Kyle Lowry came on the show to talk about a wide-ranging amount of topics involving his diet, dunking, flopping, the current state of the Raptors and how he's managed to improve every year since coming to Toronto in 2012.
You can listen to the full podcast here, but we've compiled a few snippets that stood out from the 40 minute episode.
On how he feels about the Raptors:
I think we have the potential to be really good. Now that [Jonas Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll] are coming back and guys are going back to their roles that they're used to having, I think we're steadily getting better. Yes, we have our lapses where we lose a few here and there, but that's the marathon of the season. You're not going to be the Warriors who are 29-1. You're going to have a couple lapses here and there. We're a team that was put together this year with seven new guys in the rotation. We're still a team that's learning each other and trying to get better.
On this season being a must-win year:
The goal is to go far. To not get out of the first round would...I think something would happen. Our goal is to win and go as far as possible. To go to the final, that's the goal. To make the playoffs is cool but to lose in the first round is not cool anymore.
On why the Raptors aren't perceived as the second best team in the East on paper:
I think teams look at us and say "Toronto is the same team as before." It's Toronto, we never get too much exposure. We don't care...we just go out there and keep grinding. I think once you get to the playoffs, anything is possible. For us, once we get there we have a team that can figure it out. DeMarre can guard anybody. Jonas has gotten a lot better. We have the rhythm of a team to know how we want to play, so our goal is to get to the playoffs healthy and go from there.
On his relationship with Dwane Casey:
He's an unbelievable person. He's the nicest guy in the world. In the game he's that old school southern hard-nosed coach, but our relationship has grown throughout the years. He's learned to trust me and I've learned to trust him, and I think that's why we have a better relationship. Our relationship is always going to have "oh man, why are you doing this?" That's player coach. That's every player in the league, but at the end of the day you're on the same page. If you can talk about it afterwards, you move on. No one is going to love each other every second of the day. You're always going to have disagreements and miscommunications. But as long as you communicate the miscommunication to fix it, it's all good.
On Skinny Kyle Lowry:
I've kept the same weight, same body, same everything since the start of the season. You're in the NBA -- you don't eat great all the time. It's hard to maintain a diet when you're getting in at 3 AM and flying out at 11 PM. You're going to have bad nights. My body is in such good shape it knows how to consume that food and turn it into fuel and write it off right away.
Overall it's an entertaining listen between Lowe, one of the most plugged in and talented personalities in the business and Lowry, a player who's clearly coming into his own on and off the court.
To say Lowry has come a long way since entering the league would be a massive understatement. The 29-year-old was labelled as a locker room cancer and prickly character early in his career due to his hot-headed nature, but there's been a huge shift on that front since he finally found his home (and steady minutes) north of the border.
It's great for fans to see a different side of players, and Lowe's offbeat and fun-loving personality mixed with his impressive knowledge of the game create the perfect setting for players to feel comfortable and show their true selves.
In the infamous words of Matt Devlin: "Hashtag NBA ballot!"