Kyle Lowry deserves to be a starter in February’s All-Star game. But the relative anonymity of the Toronto Raptors point guard compared to counterparts like John Wall, Dwyane Wade, and Kyrie Irving trumps on-court play when it comes to starting spots for the mid-season classic. The opening five are decided by the fans, while the rest of the 12-man roster is chosen by conference coaches.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey seems resigned to the fact that Lowry’s lack of star power will keep him from earning a starting spot. When it comes to his best player being named an All-Star reserve, though, Casey says his fellow coaches better choose Lowry – or else.
Here’s a threatening Casey Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports:
Reporter: Surprised to see Lowry fourth among guards in All-Star voting?
Casey: Very surprised. I hope our fans get out and vote and don’t put it in the hands of the coaches. And if the coaches don’t do it I’m probably going to get into a physical fight with those guys.
Talk about a coach having his player’s back.
Lowry ranked fourth among Eastern Conference guards in votes as of the second ballot’s release earlier this week. He trails Wall and Wade by well over 100,000 tallies, and Irving by more than 30,000.
It seems unlikely, then, that Lowry will make up enough ground between now and ballot closing to earn a starting nod. It’s a virtual certainty, however, that the coaches will include him among their reserve choices – and not just due to Casey’s talk of a throwdown.
Lowry and Jimmy Butler – with Wall a close third – have been the two best “guards” in the East this season, a reality surely not lost on the people that game-plan to stop them on a nightly basis. Both players are basic locks as All-Star backups, as they should be at the very least.
Which is almost a shame, in a way. It sure would be fun to see Casey and his suit-wearing brethren go bare-knuckle.
What do you think?
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