The Toronto Raptors were able to complete the sweep against the Brooklyn Nets but face a tough road ahead if Kyle Lowry is forced to miss time with a foot injury.
There is no denying how impressive the Toronto Raptors looked in Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets because when they took care of business and avoided any potential headaches.
However, the last thing the Raptors would have wanted to happen was see a player go down with an injury and that’s exactly what happened with Kyle Lowry. The Raptors point guard left the game with a foot injury and it’s not known what his status is heading into the second round against the Boston Celtics.
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Even though the Raptors depth has been a bright spot especially with Fred VanVleet leading the way at both ends of the court, the last thing they want is to have Lowry sidelined. This was echoed by Serge Ibaka after the game.
"“I know we say it a lot, but he’s very important for us,” said Ibaka after the game. “He’s our motor. Hopefully, he can be ready for the first game, because we need him big time, man. We need him big time.’"
Granted, the Raptors have shown that they can still perform with Lowry out of the lineup but in a series against the Celtics where the margin for error is slim, his experience is crucial. He can be a game-breaker when the time calls for it, take charges like it’s no one’s business and a focus for opposing defenders which allows some freedome for his teammates.
Head coach Nick Nurse didn’t mince words when asked about the potential impact of Lowry being out of the lineup.
"“I won’t be very comfortable without Kyle out there, I will say that, he’s certainly a big engine for us,” said Nurse. “But I would say, I think that we play a system or a style where lots of guys are involved …yeah, we’re going to miss all those great, great things Kyle does if he doesn’t play, but somebody else has got to take shots and play defence and play tough and do the things that he does to make up for it or we do it by committee, that’s probably a better way.“But I would imagine this: It’s going to be a helluva injury to keep him off the floor. It’s not going to be a little thing; he’s going to try to figure it out”"
Nurse is definitely right, Lowry won’t let this ailment keep him out unless absolutely necessary. Having him in even in a limited role would be an emotional boost for this team who have made it a point to rely on each other to get through this season.
Even though the Raptors rally together as a unit, there’s no denying that Lowry is the glue that keeps it all together. While some players will try to fill the void, the Celtics have shown that they can exploit a team’s weakness and not having Lowry would be a massive one.
This is especially true considering Toronto won only one of the four games against Boston this season including a tough 22-points loss recently. This should provide a blueprint the team will need to follow and can’t let Lowry’s injury be a distraction in their ultimate goal in winning another title.
Regardless, you can’t take away how impressive the Raptors were in Round 1 against the Nets. The bench had a 100-point effort which is not something that you see every day and that can provide a confidence boost going into Round 2.
What did you think about the Raptors in their series against the Nets? Can they move forward without Lowry? How big could a potential absence be from their point guard? Let us know in the comments below.