Four-time All-Star and Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry is set to miss another game as he recovers from a back injury. It’ll mark his ninth missed game out of the team’s last ten, of which they have been able to win five without their point guard.
Tonight, against the Spurs, they’ll have to go without him yet again.
Luckily for the Raptors, they have Kawhi Leonard. And he is taking no prisoners. He went off against the Utah Jazz on New Year’s Day, scoring a career-high 45 points in the 122-116 win in Toronto. Pascal Siakam stepped up as well with 28, and Normal Powell contributed 14.
Despite their success–the Raptors are still solidly at the top of the Eastern Conference with their impressive 28-11 record–the team is certainly eager to get their point guard back on the floor. But Kyle Lowry’s return timeline remains uncertain.
According to The Toronto Star, Lowry received lower back injections in an effort to curb his pain and inflammation, but there is no current timeline for his exact return.
However, the Raptors have confirmed that the 32-year-old guard’s condition is improving. It’s likely that he’ll be back for playoffs, though his long-term durability is what’s ultimately in question. Coach Nick Nurse recently commented that he was “a little bit” concerned about Lowry’s inability to stay healthy–a natural concern, considering the team’s high hopes and good chances for this postseason. In spite of that, Nurse confirmed that Lowry will be back in no time. “We’re coming to the end of it,” he said.
The Raptors Have Been Dominant This Season
The Toronto Raptors have been nearly unstoppable this season, they’ve got only 11 losses total and have only barely been supplanted by the Milwaukee Bucks for the top spot in the east. They’re close to retaking that spot–and probably will soon–and are the clear favorite to win the Eastern Conference Finals and face off against (probably) the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Much of this has to do with the quiet authority of Kawhi Leonard. Coming off of his career-high 45 against the Jazz on Tuesday, he’s a force to be reckoned with on any given night, averaging 27.3 points per game. He grabs 8.2 rebounds per game as well, and his speed and size combine to make him the focal point of any defense.
In supporting roles for the Raptors are Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, Danny Green and Fred Van Vleet, all of whom contribute good numbers on a regular basis and make this entire squad one of the scariest in the league.
The Raptors and Spurs will face off tonight at 7:00 pm CST.