With gold medals already in their clutches, members of USA Basketball are now enjoying the afterglow of the Rio Olympics. For Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors participants on Team USA, there’s plenty to be gleaned from their experience in Brazil.
Today, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann released the final on-court numbers from USA’s 13 games, both exhibition and at the Olympics. What immediately stands out is Lowry’s contributions on the defensive end.
Playing mainly as a backup to Kyrie Irving, Lowry finished with a team-best defensive rating of 78.5 in 221.4 minutes of play. This was better than Draymond Green and Jimmy Butler, who finished two and three, and are the typical names you’d expect to see topping any defensive stat category.
This helped boost Lowry’s net rating, which was the third-best on Team USA, behind DeMarcus Cousins(!) and Paul George.
Though Lowry appeared to be going through the shooting woes that plagued him sporadically during the NBA Playoffs, the fact he played meaningful defense attests to the type of player he’s become. When the rest of Team USA was lethargic or playing to their opponent, Lowry was his tenacious self. As a bench spark plug, he made it his calling to guard the point of attack, offsetting guard penetration. His offensive highlights were few and far between, save one Serb-ending crossover.
"Kyle Lowry isn't a skill player" https://t.co/vs3jhULfqO— John Gaudes (@johngaudes) August 21, 2016
DeRozan, on the other hand, had a tougher time winning over USA observers. During the team’s toughest stretch of games (against Australia, Serbia and France in round robin play), DeRozan was horrid — a defensive rating of 138.3 and offensive rating of 108.3. His mid-range game didn’t seem to be much of a fit for the international style of play, and was derided.
That said, his overall numbers came out surprisingly good. He finished fourth on the team in defensive rating (84.5) and sixth in offensive rating (125.1).
Now, Lowry and DeRozan get into some deserved time off before the season begins in the fall. What did you think of their respective Olympic performances?