Villanova Basketball: Kyle Lowry’s playoff struggles continue in Toronto

(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Kyle Lowry may be the most prolific former Villanova basketball player in the NBA, but his playoff struggles have unfortunately continued into 2019 following a scoreless effort in the Toronto Raptors’ 101-104 loss to the Orlando Magic.

While the City of Brotherly Love is currently enthralled in playoff basketball mania due to the 76ers’ three seed series against the Brooklyn Nets, there’s actually a second prominent Philadelphian competing in the Eastern Conference for a shot at NBA glory: Villanova basketball legend Kyle Lowry.

That’s right Lowry, the Wildcats’ starting point guard from 2004-06 has pushed his playoff streak to six as the Toronto Raptors have once again earned a two-two seed in the Eastern Conference.

However, much like last season, and pretty much every season he’s been in the NBA, Lowry’s postseason struggles have continued into 2019.

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After struggling through his worst scoring season as a Raptor since 2012-13, averaging only 14.2 points vs. 22.4 two seasons prior, Lowry dropped the biggest of eggs in Toronto’s 2019 postseason debut; scoring 0 points, in 34 minutes of action.

Now it wasn’t all bad for Lowry, as he almost doubled his averaged rebounds (7 vs. 4.8) and almost matched his average assists from the regular season (a career-best 8.7), the fact Toronto got literally nothing from their fourth leading regular-season scorer is a big reason why the team was unable to put away the lowly Orlando Magic in what should have been an easy 7-2 seed win.

But unfortunately, that’s just how it went down.

In 34 minutes of action, Lowry only attempted seven shots, good for the sixth highest mark on the team. Now that could be because of his lack of success at getting the ball through the hoop, but it is a bit surprising to see a player attempting an average of 11.4 shots a game only attempt seven and fail to galvanize his troops in a win.

Good news for fans in the 215 who bleed red, white, and blue, but bad news for fans on the Main Line.

While Lowry has always received a positive reception when he returns to Philadelphia as either a friendly face at a Wildcats game, or a foe lining up for the Raptors, even if he occasionally wants to get into fights with Sixers players (check that out here), it’s hard not to be a little happy to watch his team struggle with a potential round two matchup against the Sixers on the schedule.

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Will he find a way to put it all together and finally propel his team to a conference finals, or even a championship bout? Only time will tell, but it’s clear Kyle Lowry is just as key to the Toronto Raptors’ success as one Kawhi Leonard.