TORONTO â€” Kyle Lowry is ready to push himself and the Toronto Raptors through the final few games of the NBA’s regular season.
After a five-week break recovering from wrist surgery, his body is almost ready to join him.
“I was amazing yesterday morning,” said Lowry on Friday, two days after scoring 27 points, adding 10 assists and five rebounds in Toronto’s 105-102 win in Detroit.
After a pause for effect Lowry added with a laugh: “It’s a little bit different today. Little bit different.
“It’s alright though. It’s whatever. I feel good enough to play, so, it’s fine. It’s part of getting back, getting back into shape. My body’s a little bit sore.”
With three games left in the regular-season, including Friday night against the Miami Heat, Lowry is looking to not just get his cardio back up to game shape, but to work out any kinks with new teammates Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker, who were traded to the Raptors while he was recuperating.
All three seemed to click against the Pistons, with Ibaka getting seven points with seven rebounds and Tucker scoring nine with four rebounds. Lowry loves their play but still thinks there’s work to be done.
“There was a couple of possessions where me and Serge’s communication or me and PJ’s communication was off,” said Lowry. “It was all just communication. It wasn’t nothing where it was like ‘you missed that timing,’ it was ‘alright, this is what we want to do, this is where it’s going to be.'”
Toronto head coach Dwane Casey was impressed with how seamless Lowry’s return appeared against the Pistons on Wednesday.
“I didn’t realize he’d played 41 minutes until the end but he was playing so well, it wasn’t like he needed to (rest),” said Casey. “We want to make sure the next few games we continue to get him back into the rhythm and get everybody used to playing with each other.”
The Raptors clnched a playoff spot in the competitive Eastern Conference while Lowry missed 18 games. They can still claim the Atlantic Division title, as they trail the Boston Celtics by two games in the standings.
Casey said Lowry’s return won’t alter the Raptors’ playbook, but his presence on the floor changes the offence’s dynamic.
“Same plays, but he opens up space more than anything else,” said Casey. “You’re not going to have any new plays but the spacing is much better with him as a three-point shooting threat. … You have one more three-point shooter out there.”
Lowry is just as confident.
“At the end of the day, everyone will make the adjustments and it’s just about talking,” said Lowry. “It’s not rocket science.”
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John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press