Lowry’s job

Business World - - World Sports - AN­THONY L. CUAYCONG AN­THONY L. CUAYCONG has been writ­ing Court­side since Busi­nessWorld in­tro­duced a Sports sec­tion in 1994.

Kyle Lowry didn’t have a good game yes­ter­day. It wasn’t even any­where near ad­e­quate. In 33 min­utes on the court, he posted a mere seven points on two-of-eight shoot­ing from the field. He’s the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion leader in as­sists, but he wound up with just four, the same num­ber of turnovers to his name. For all the neg­a­tives, how­ever, it’s doubt­ful whether he would want a do-over; af­ter all, the Rap­tors won, and against the highly re­garded Six­ers to boot. And, if noth­ing else, he was his usual solid self on de­fense, com­ing up with three steals en route to a starter-best plus-five rat­ing.

Re­gard­less of the num­bers, Lowry knows he’s an in­te­gral part of the Rap­tors’ surge to the top of the East. His pres­ence alone spreads the floor, and his veteran smarts spear­heads the sys­tem in­sti­tuted by first-year head coach Nick Nurse. He’s a pro­fes­sional first and fore­most, which is why he con­tin­ues to thrive de­spite his bit­ter­ness over the trade that sent erst­while fran­chise top dog DeMar DeRozan pack­ing. And his knowl­edge of the value he brings is pre­cisely why he can get away with diss­ing Ma­sai Ujiri, the op­er­a­tions head be­hind the trade that turned his best friend into a Spur.

As Lowry told ESPN The Jump’s Rachel Ni­chols in an in­ter­view aired on the eve of the match, he un­der­stands that “you got to go out there and do your job. You get a trade, your job is still to go out there and play.” And, by all ac­counts, it’s a move that has the Rap­tors reap­ing div­i­dends. It owns the league’s best record at 21-5, and his pro­duc­tive part­ner­ship with for­mer Fi­nals Most Valu­able Player Kawhi Leonard por­tends a deep play­off run. The next steps, as he knows, are to live up to ex­pec­ta­tions and sus­tain the ex­cel­lence, eas­ier said than done.

The lat­ter is less Lowry’s de­ci­sion than Leonard’s, but he’s clearly do­ing all he can to make the Rap­tors home to the twotime All-Star. Should the ideal hap­pen, then great. If not, he’ll con­tinue to be around to fur­ther the cause of the red and black. Apart from death and taxes, he’s their surest thing.

As Lowry told ESPN The Jump’s Rachel Ni­chols in an in­ter­view aired on the eve of the match, he un­der­stands that “you got to go out there and do your job. You get a trade, your job is still to go out there and play.” And, by all ac­counts, it’s a move that has the Rap­tors reap­ing div­i­dends. It owns the league’s best record at 21-5, and his pro­duc­tive part­ner­ship with for­mer Fi­nals Most Valu­able Player Kawhi Leonard por­tends a deep play­off run. The next steps, as he knows, are to live up to ex­pec­ta­tions and sus­tain the ex­cel­lence, eas­ier said than done.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.