You wouldn't be blamed for not knowing a whole lot about Kyle Lowry before this year. He's a 28-year-old point guard who's averaged 11 points and five assists per game throughout his career, and who has toiled away in relative obscurity in Memphis, Houston, and now Toronto. This year, he became the guy you knew was really good, but you weren't quite sure why. See that play above? That's why.
Lowry scored 36 points in last night's win over the Nets, and it was the play above, combined with the deep, pull-up three he hit on the previous possession, that slammed the brakes on a furious fourth-quarter comeback by the Nets. After being somewhat bottled up by the Nets' defense throughout the series, Lowry finally broke out and grabbed a win for his team along with our attention.
The stats from last night say Lowry pretty much did what he's been doing all season, but the image of Deron Williams getting dropped into a feeble three-point stance by one of the nastiest behind-the-back dribbles you've ever seen says that this was a moment for Kyle Lowry. It's this play that is going to be featured in video montages before every future Raptors playoff game; it's this play that's to be the top result for a YouTube search of "Kyle Lowry;" it's this play that's going to be the one that will always get mentioned anytime Lowry becomes a topic of conversation among basketball fans.
That's all true for now, at least. The Raps have a chance to close out the Nets on Friday, and if they advance, we might end up with entire reel of Kyle Lowry playoff highlights on our hands.