The Toronto Raptors have received positive injury news ahead of their second game of the second round of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics.
The 33-year-old suffered a sprained ankle early in the Raptors’ series-clinching 150-122 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, seemingly rolling his ankle after stepping on Chris Chiozza’s foot with less than three minutes left in the first quarter.
The six-time All-Star did not practice for three days but, according to CBC, practiced on Saturday ahead of the opening game against Boston – the only team to defeat the Raptors (122-100) since the NBA returned earlier this month.
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Having Lowry back in the line-up for the opening game of the conference semifinals will be a huge boost to the Raptors’ hopes of continuing their attempts to repeat as champions, with the Philadelphia native having been a key part of the team’s first-ever NBA championship last season.
During the shortened 2019/20 regular season, Lowry was having arguably an even better season than the previous campaign, being named to his sixth consecutive All-Star game while also improving in a number of statistics in the process.
Lowry averaged more minutes per game (36.2), more field goals and attempts (5.8 and 13.8), three-pointers (2.8), free throws and attempts (5.1 and 5.9) as well as a significant increase in average points scored with 19.4 – up from just 14.2 during the Raptors’ championship season.
During the Raptors’ four-game sweep of the Nets, Lowry averaged 12.5 points, seven rebounds (6.5 defensive) and 4.8 assists, the while limited to just over nine minutes in the final game before the team clinched the series victory.
His fitness will undoubtedly be monitored during the series, but Lowry isn’t the sort of player to take time off if he feels good in himself. During the Raptors’ NBA Finals series, Lowry played with an injured thumb, showing his determination to step up for his team.
The Celtics will prove to be a tough challenge for the Raptors and having all of their top players available will give them a huge boost both in output but also morale, seeing one of their leaders return to the court and help the team go toe-to-toe with a team that they have never met in the post-season before.