Been watching the Heat all season long and it’s been unfortunate they haven’t had Kyle Lowry’s services consistently enough; and let’s make no mistake about it, he is the equalizer within Miami’s offense. Yes the Miami Heat were in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and to some it came of surprise as if Kyle Lowry wasn’t the quarterback on several teams where he was the one running the show. People give Kawhi Leonard all the credit for leading the Raptors to their first championship in franchise history but little is spoken of how important of a piece Kyle was on that Raptors’s rotation. I get it Kawhi is Kawhi but more often than not Kyle was the one bailing him out whenever his offense just wasn’t going. An infinite amount of times Kawhi would drive into the Warriors defense in the 2019 NBA Finals and not have anyone to keep their defense honest aside from practically Kyle Lowry. Kyle is a bit up there in age, he will turn 37 years old on March 25 and still has one year left on the originally 3-year extension he signed with Miami Heat which is good news assuming he can remain healthy next season even as 40 can’t get any closer. Anyone who knows Kyle’s game would understand that with the right conditioning and support from the Heat as he fights injury woes could prove to be a major x-factor for Miami as a franchise as they look to compete in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season and capture a top 6 seed.
Miami is practically locked into Butler,Adebayo,and Herro for at least the next 2 years so they might as well extract as much as possible out of Kyle Lowry while he is still eligible to play. He claims the knee injury issues won’t allow him to play at the level he’s well capable of playing at so the Het are on a limbo in terms of when he just might return. Head coach Erik Spoelstra remains mum about Kyle Lowry but I’m here to tell you without Lowry the Heat won’t be going anywhere fast. That’s no disrespect to Jimmy Butler who has proven he could carry a team a la 2020 when he led the Heat on a rampage through the Eastern Conference in The Bubble and almost ruined LeBron’s legacy in The Finals; but the Lakers were able to finish business and Frank Vogel rallied his troops in a close out Game 6; which showed a level of execution paralleled to when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen took it upon themselves to shut down then international sensation Toni Kukoc who was being heralded the future of the Chicago Bulls. Come to think of it it’s actually odd that Kyle Lowry plays for the Miami Heat, although him remaining a Raptor for the rest of his career would’ve been considered overkill I just never imagined Miami being a realistic destination for him but then again I remember Pat Riley is running the show and it all clicked.
If there is one thing you’ve got to admire about Pat Riley is the fact that the man’s credentials around the NBA whether it’s as President of the Miami Heat,coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,coach of the New York Knicks, or coach of these very Miami Heat is that the man knows basketball like the palm of his hand and has won extensively so to think this current Heat can’t be a dark horse out East would be ludicrous. The Heat don’t have a superstar the level of a Jayson Tatum,Joel Embiid, or Giannis Antetokoumpo but Jimmy Butler could outperform any of those 3 if needed any given night, specially in a playoff series and you have a floor general like Kyle Lowry commanding the entire show? Sign me up, that’s leaving out Bam Adebayo and how elite of a defender he is on the floor. Capable of guarding all 3 of Giannis,Tatum,and Embiid if needed and still get you 20-3o points a night. I could see why Pat brought Kyle over to Miami, you really just can’t name any point guards as of right now who could do everything Kyle does on the floor. Play good on ball defense,plays with great pace,can shoot,play-make, and get to the rim with ease due to his shifty ball handling and array of foot-work moves. Kyle is someone who plays winning basketball, don’t let his flops with DeMar DeRozan in Toronto fool ya. DeMar was responsible a good portion of the time for Toronto’s failures in the playoffs, it was never really on Lowry from what I remember.
I’m studying a lot of these contenders out East and I’m not completely sold on any of them to be a shoe-in for the 2023 NBA Finals. Which brings me to the Miami Heat, a team that that lacks massive star-power but top to bottom they are just as formidable as any of the other East contenders and Erik Spoelstra is running the show, someone we could argue is the best coach in the East if we put his name in a pool with Doc Rivers,Mike Budenholzer,and Joe Mazzulla. We saw LeBron James and Kevin Durant put themselves in more than favorable situations in the 2010’s so everyone around the league believes a team with no superstars can’t win a ring which to an extent is false because you need some sort of star power but Miami has their fare share of star power with Jimmy Butler who is their franchise player and Bam Adebayo who has made himself into arguably one of the top 5 bigs in the league period. Going back to Kyle Lowry in Toronto he never felt like the problem there, Kawhi Leonard ended up being the missing piece for a team solely built around their dynamic back-court of Kyle and DeMar. Well Jimmy Butler is much like Kawhi Leonard in the sense that he is a legitimate 1st option and mentally he is just cut different due to what was a rough upbringing and grit,drive,and determination helped make him into the player he is today.
Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry are good friends, maybe not as close as Kyle was with DeMar and likely still is till this day but for Kyle Lowry to be Godfather to Jimmy’s daughter? They definitely have close ties and I’m sure Jimmy would love to win a championship with Kyle in Miami which is definitely possible being that they were budding rivals in the Eastern Conference much like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were before they joined together in Miami to win back to back championships. Sure James and Wade never competed against each other in the Eastern Conference but we saw what brotherhood between two stars could do for a team’s title hopes. Kyle is on the other side of the hill at this point in his playing career but if I could say anything about him it’s that he worked his way up to becoming the hall-of-fame like player he has been for a good portion of his career. From his days of quarter-backing the post Tracy McGrady-Yao Ming Houston Rockets to making the Toronto Raptors a perennial contender through the prime years of his career in the 2010’s Kyle has been the epitomy of what a starting point-guard in the NBA should strive to be. Age is something we can’t defy, LeBron James certainly has but those come once in a lifetime. Kyle’s story is not done yet, sure winning a title 2019 with the Raptors solidified his career but with his anticipated return more is left to be written in Miami.