Kyle Lowry to Miss Rest of Regular Season After Wrist Injury
The Toronto Raptors announced Monday afternoon that star point guard Kyle Lowry will likely miss the remainder of the regular season after undergoing surgery to “remove loose bodies” from his ailing right wrist. The team expects him to be able to return in time to contribute during the postseason.
Big Blow For Toronto
This is a huge blow to a Raptors team that is trying hard to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers in the east. Lowry has missed both of Toronto’s games since the All-Star break with the wrist issue, and it’s evidently serious enough to likely end his regular season prematurely.
Heading into play on Monday, the Raptors sit six games back of the Cavs for the top spot in the conference. Toronto is tied on record with the Wizards for the No. 3 spot, though they are just 2.5 games ahead of Atlanta for the final home court spot in the first round.
Lowry’s absence likely means Cory Joseph will slide into the starting point guard spot, with second-year guard Delon Wright securing most of the backup minutes.
It also means even more of a heightened offensive role for DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is already one of the highest usage players in the league even with Lowry on the floor, but when Lowry sits DeRozan takes boatloads of shots. He sports an insanely high usage rate of 43.7 percent this season with Lowry off the floor, which is over seven points higher than his usual rate.
The timing is especially cruel for the Raptors considering general manager Masai Ujiri just made a couple of win-now moves prior to the trade deadline. Toronto forfeited swingman Terrence Ross and a fiture pick in order to acquire Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic, and snagged 3-and-D wing PJ Tucker from the Suns just as the deadline ticked by.
There is enough talent here to where the Raptors should be able to fend the Hawks off for the conference’s No. 4 spot, though nothing is a guarantee. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweeted Monday afternoon that Lowry is expected to miss four-to-five weeks, which means he could return in time to play a few regular season games in order to tune-up for the playoffs.
Toronto is looking to make a deep playoff run. They have won the Atlantic Division in each of the last three seasons, though have advanced beyond the first round of the postseason just once. They were beaten by the Cavs in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
Lowry, an All-Star, is enjoying one of the finest seasons of his career. In 56 games so far this season, the 30-year-old is averaging 22.8 points and nearly seven assists per game on career-best 41.7 percent shooting from three-point range.
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