Cavaliers pound the Raptors: Four things we learned

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Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Kyle Lowry is still struggling

The shooting struggles of Kyle Lowry have become the defining narrative for Toronto’s postseason run. He has climbed out of “worst playoff shooting performance ever” territory but a final three games in the second round that appeared to be slump-busting were followed up by a 4-of-14, 0-of-7 on three-pointers performance in Game 1.

As troubling as the misses were, the shots he was actually taking were just as problematic. Of Lowry’s 14 shots attempts, only two came from inside of 10 feet. Of his dozen jump-shots, only one was a catch-and-shoot opportunity. Lowry is a point guard and primary ball-handler for the Raptors but he’s not doing himself any favors with a willingness to settle for tough shots. Lowry only averaged 3.3 pull-up three-pointers per game during the regular season, and Stephen Curry was the only player to average more than five. For Lowry to settle for six, in only 32 minutes, is frustrating.

In the first round against the Indiana Pacers, we saw Lowry’s shooting struggles seem to get in his head as he passed up open shots that he normally would have taken. Perhaps the psychological pressure is working in a different way now, pushing him to try to shoot (over defenders) his way out of the slump. At this point, the Raptors will need a much more aggressive and attacking Lowry to make this series competitive.

Next: 2. Toronto needs a plan for LeBron