Toronto Raptors are one of the most entertaining team to watch this NBA season. They have gone through a major change this summer that resulted in a change in their style of play but it seems it's working.
Even though this is a team sport, one of the key factors of that success is without a doubt their floor general Kyle Lowry. Lowry is the NBA's leader in assists with 11 per game while also scoring 17 points per game.
When you look at these stats you can immediately tell Lowry's important impact on the team. But something that is not seen on the stat sheet is the defensive intensity Lowry brings to the table. And not just any defense, but the one which includes taking charges and making it an artwork.
Toronto Raptor back up point guard Delon Wright said this about Lowry's ability to get the charge.
“It just feels like he always takes them at the right moment, when the other team has some momentum going, “He steps in there and gets the call, and it’s kind of defeating for the other team.”
An astonishing league record of 49 charges has Lowry drawn since the start of 2017/2018 season. So far into the season, Lowry has taken more charges then 23 NBA teams. Lowry who is 32 years old and by NBA standards no longer a player in his physical prime, which makes this number even more fascinating.
“You get hit in the private area. You might get hit in the gut, “You’ve just got to be willing to take the hit and can’t be scared of the consequences. You’ve gotta say, ‘All right, cool — I’m willing to do to help my team win games.’”
It seems Lowry is relying upon his instincts to drow charges and his coach Nick Nurse believes it takes a super high-IQ to do it properly.
“His instincts are unbelievable. He sees that stuff coming way ahead of time and gets himself in position. That’s just being a super smart, high-IQ player. He’s pretty good at knowing how to take them. Every now and then, he takes a pretty crushing blow. But you know how it is: The good [charge-takers] kind of start to fall just before they take a hit, and hopefully, don’t get hurt on those [sorts of plays]. But his instincts to play hard amaze me almost nightly.”
Kyle Lowry is showing everybody there are more ways to contribute rather than just through typical ways like scoring, rebound and dishing out assists.
“I can’t normally block a shot, and I can’t energize my team with a crazy dunk. “But I can take a charge at a big moment in a game, and I think my teammates appreciate me laying myself out there. That’s my energizing play.”