Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic played 16 minutes together last night. In that time, the Rockets shot 56% from the floor (14/25), dished out 7 assists, and were a +4. They had an offensive rating of 112.6 and a defensive rating of 99.7 (the number of points the team would have scored and given up if extrapolated per 100 possessions.) During that same span, the Blazers shot 38% from the floor but grabbed 7 offensive rebounds.
The Rockets looked absolutely masterful in that fourth quarter with the two point guards playing in tandem. I’m becoming convinced that the lineups which see Dragic and Lowry sharing the backcourt are the team’s best. They were relentless defensively and a blur on the break.
One particular play stood out, lending towards an idea: Jamal Crawford danced, spun, drove into the lane, only to have the ball stripped by Lowry, leading to a fastbreak. While Crawford isn’t particularly large, he is regarded as one of the game’s shiftiest players. All along, in the panic to keep Dragic, the popular sentiment among many has been to move him to the ‘2’, next season. The idea made more sense, in theory, than the proposition of playing Lowry at the ‘2’, due to the players’ respective heights. But is that the proper way to think about the matter?
Would the Blazers have taken Terrence Williams instead of Jonny Flynn in the Camby trade? If not, then no Camby, and possibly no playoffs. Something to consider for those who mocked Daryl Morey for cutting Jeremy Lin and balked at the notion that there might have been later use for Flynn’s contract. Though I guess it is much more fun to jump to sensationalistic conclusions.
Kyle Lowry looked about as good as a guy whose been out a month can look, yesterday, in his return. This is a huge sigh of relief for this team; they would not have stood a chance in the postseason without Lowry.
Even if Lee starts on Bryant, rest assured Parsons will see time in that matchup. Kobe might torch him. Kobe might go cold. It doesn’t matter. As the Rockets have learned over the years, you can live with Kobe taking jump shots. If he’s on, there’s nothing anyone can do. That last game was lost by the Lakers not because the Rockets beat them but because they beat themselves. Andrew Bynum got tossed and Mike Brown inexplicably went away from Ramon Sessions when he was completely picking the Houston defense apart.
Almost 13 years ago, Marcus Camby was thrust into the starting lineup on an eighth seeded New York Knicks team that made it all the way to the NBA Finals. In the playoffs that year, he led his team in rebounds, blocks, PER, defensive rating, offensive rating, and win shares. As a 24-year-old, straw thin big man whose offensive game looked a lot like Tyson Chandler’s does now, he was arguably the most crucial player taking part in the most improbable of impossible title runs we’ve ever seen.
On March 30th, Sam Dalembert went down with the flu, forcing a wrinkled version of Camby into the starting lineup for a feisty Rockets squad. Since? At the risk of total hyperbole, he’s been a revelation. Here are the basic statistical averages in his last three games: 34 minutes, 52% shooting, 9.7 points, 12 rebounds (3.3 of them offensive), 2.3 steals, and 3.3 blocks. The other night in a comeback win against Chicago, Camby expanded his role from above average rim protector to someone who’s of actual use on offense, spacing the floor and forcing the Bulls’ tight defense to spread a bit further than they would’ve liked.
This post is the latest in a series entitled ‘Goran Dragic vs. Kyle Lowry.’ All previous and future installments can be found via the ‘Dragic vs. Lowry’ tag below.’
This year, in 16 games started, Goran Dragic has averaged 17.6 points and 8.7 assists in 36.6 minutes. He has shot 53% from the field and 44% from downtown. In the 38 games this year in which he came off the bench, Dragic shot 42% overall from the field and 26% on 3’s.