What's Good With Toronto's Backcourt?
For the third straight year the Toronto Raptors find themselves in some first round playoff trouble. They are tied with the Indiana Pacers at two games apiece. They have to be having nightmares about their recent postseason struggles being bounced in the first round each of the past two seasons, including an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Washington Wizards last year. After that series Kyle Lowry vowed to get in the best shape of his life so that it would never happen again. Well they are having deja vu.
After having the best record in franchise history and grabbing the two seed in the process they have hit a bit of a rough patch, and they can't blame Paul Pierce this year. Where they can look to place blame is the area that was so consistent for them all year, the backcourt play. Both Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan had career years and were named to the All-Star team. Their regular season success has not translated over very well to this series. Lowry is averaging 15.5 points per game, shooting 32 percent from the field, and 18 percent from three, which includes five for 27 from downtown. He is dishing out seven assists per game but his turnovers are now up to three a game. DeRozan has been worse, his scoring has dropped a staggering full 10 points from the regular season.. He is shooting under 30 percent, and has not hit a three yet. He also has just as many turnovers as assists.
It is simple Toronto has to get their two best players playing the way they are capable of to win this series, and make any noise in the postseason. They must get it going in Game 5 tonight, because they are running out of time to get over their playoff yips. Paul George is not going to allow the Pacers to miss out on this opportunity to advance, and if the backcourt does not play better, that is exactly what will happen. Leaving Toronto to wonder for yet another summer what they have to do to win a series.
*Photos via USA Today