Kyle Lowry has stepped up to get the Toronto Raptors into a crucial Game 7 against the Boston Celtics and will need to do the same once again.
Just when it looked like the Toronto Raptors looked like they were going to be seeing their season end at several points, they have found a way to turn the tables on the Boston Celtics.
Coming off the improbable win in Game 3 which was highlighted by OG Anunoby‘s buzzer-beater, the Raptors were able to respond with another one in Game 4. Following a tough loss in Game 5, Nick Nurse needed someone to step up to save Toronto’s season, enter Kyle Lowry.
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It has become no surprise that Lowry continues to be the engine of this Raptors team as he has been asked to do a lot in this series playing tough minutes and continuing to show his fearless play (and some antics that are getting under the skin of the Celtics fans). While the team needs more than just Lowry to step up, it is comforting to see him come up with the big shot when it matters.
This has not been an easy series for the Raptors and it’s understandable considering the talent the Celtics have and how their depth has matched up for the most part. With Pascal Siakam struggling to bring his game up to the level that Jayson Tatum has for Boston (which is already a tough bar to match), Lowry’s presence can’t be understated.
It is not the first time Toronto has been in this situation after taking the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games in round two last season. In this series against the Celtics, it seems more personal considering both teams expect to be atop the Eastern Conference for the next few years.
"“I think that we’re close in proximity, we’re in the same division, both teams have been in the playoffs a lot of years in a row,” said Nurse to reporters. “It just seems like the regular-season matchups against these guys seem to be big moments, and we always talk about how big a game they are. And then you find yourself in a tough series like this. It feels like a rivalry already, even though this is the first time we’ve met. I think a lot of factors have gone into that.”"
Going into Game 7, Toronto can feel confident in knowing what that they’ve taken Boston’s best punch and can recover. At the same time, it would be more manageable if they get off to a better start offensively because they know how the game can get away if they don’t.
Judging by how he stepped up in Game 6 and has come up when needed on the big stage like he did to help seal the clinching game to win the NBA title, the Raptors should be confident. He will also be a big part of the Celtics gameplan on defence but as he’s shown throughout his career, he is willing to adapt his role and that’s what makes him a great leader.
What do you think the Raptors need to do in Game 7? How important will Lowry be in their success? Let us know in the comments below.