Maybe it was the pure numbers he put up, or the wins he helped the Raptors to, but my money is on last night’s miraculous comeback putting Kyle Lowry over the top as this week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for December 16th to 22nd.
Along with Dennis Schroder out west, Lowry can now lay claim to the sixth Player of the Week award of his career. It’s the first he’s won since back in March of 2016.
(Is it cool that both these guys figure into the plot of our comic book Point Man — now on sale! — well, who’s to say.)
With four wins under his belt over the past seven days, Lowry put up 24.5 points, 10.0 assists, and 6.5 rebounds in 39.6 minutes per game. Despite being the Raptors’ main source of offensive firepower for two of those wins, Lowry still shot 45 percent from the field, 42 percent from three, and 77 percent from the free throw line. In the process of that, he also chipped in a triple-double (vs. Detroit) and the aforementioned absurd comeback last night against Dallas. In the absence of the team’s offensive fulcrum (Pascal Siakam), Lowry has been required to do more for the team, and guess what: he’s done the exact amount of “more” needed of him.
This is, in the big picture, a modest award for Lowry, but it’s still cool to see him recognized. As recently as last week, many were calling for him to be benched or traded, as his return coincided with a mini-swoon by the Raptors. What people forget, of course, is that old maxim: as Lowry goes so goes the Raptors. When he’s on — as with last night, for example — Toronto can be just about unbeatable, and players who would be marginal elsewhere are suddenly part of a team of world-beaters. That means a lot to the Raptors, and it should mean a lot to us too.
Oh yeah, and also: Kyle Lowry over everything.