How Would Kyle Lowry Fit with the Miami Heat?
The Kyle Lowry discussions have gained more and more traction after Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer reported that league sources say the Heat are pursuing a deal for Lowry harder than anyone. So, that obviously means the overall chatter has been about the pieces included in a deal, the long-term situation, and of course, the immediate fit.
To that point, it seems necessary to dive into the areas of this team that Lowry would be able to improve upon arrival. For starters, the relationship with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo makes this even more interesting, while that big 3 can be the one counter to the Brooklyn Nets big 3.
It’s no surprise that the Nets will be able to score the ball at will when fully healthy, so why not try to rival that with a defensive core if you’re the Miami Heat? And well, although there is optimism about the offense returning to form, the defense seems to have the most potential.
This defensive trio can clearly wreck havoc on a night to night basis, so let’s dive into the opposite side of the ball to see the offensive adjustments if a Lowry pick-up was made.
– The extra attacker, the missing piece
Another article, another discussion about Miami’s need for an attacker. The three-point shooting has been harped on constantly over the last few games, but it’s actually magnified the point about the absence of a downhill threat next to Butler.
The reason that the main focus for Miami’s current personnel is to keep shooting is since they don’t have anything else to adjust to. They’ve got a few shooters who have trouble with finding separation at times, which leads to chaos when shots aren’t falling.
So, this leads us right into the Lowry fit, since as seen above, he gets the ball in transition and immediately gets to the rim with one of the league’s most versatile defenders guarding him. There’s a reason that so many transition plays end up in pull-up threes or setting up half-court offense. It’s because many players don’t have that in their arsenal at this stage, which occurs more and more when Butler is off the floor or even off the ball.
He works angles as an attacker as well, which is exactly what Butler does for Miami on a consistent basis. He’s a high IQ guy who can find favorable match-ups, as seen here when he turned the corner to force Kelly Olynyk to switch onto him.
Now, this is not one of those instances where you throw around the term “high IQ” as a viable description. It’s actually to showcase his knowledge of not only the game, but the league. He can control the pacing, much like Butler, by getting to the line late in games or utilizing exaggerated movements to maybe work an official.
– The Added Shooting Element
Well, here we are again, talking about shooting. Except this time it’s being discussed in a positive manner, since Lowry has been having a good year shooting from beyond the arc. He can be trusted to hit some catch and shoot triples as seen in that video clip, but more importantly, the above the break threes are the major addition.
Those three balls have gone from a major strength to a major weakness for the Miami Heat, which is halted even more with the limited offensive options that I discussed earlier. Even when discussing a lot of the Heat’s shooters during their hot stretches, they still create issues in other areas of the game.
But Lowry brings a defensive presence, a trusted play-making ability, and the primary element, a nightly closer.
– The Spo/Lowry duo leading to creativity
After depicting some of the obvious elements to Lowry’s fit with Miami, it’s time to discuss arguably the most intirguing duo if this deal was made: Erik Spoelstra and Kyle Lowry.
While I’ve discussed Butler and Lowry quite a lot, Bam Adebayo is still going to be the primary ball-handler and play-maker in most of the Heat’s advanced sets. Now, this means Lowry can be utilized in a completely different way off the ball, which seems to benefit him quite a lot.
If you are having trouble imagining what this may look like, watch the clip above while replacing Fred VanVleet with Butler and OG Anunoby with Adebayo.
Okay good, so now you see the Spoelstra element to this addition.
– The need for a “go get a bucket” guy
The Heat are 22nd in the NBA in points per possession in isolation, while being 3rd in points per possession off a screen. Now, that stat basically screams the lack of a guy who can create for himself to just get a bucket.
This in no way means Lowry would be utilized in an isolation fashion, but it does mean that he’s capable of doing so in a stagnant offense. In the clip above, Lowry makes a tough turnaround jumper with Butler blanketing him, which is the exact offensive element that this team misses when Butler isn’t trucking people to the basket.
Lastly, it’s important to analyze these type of things in a very simple way at times, since overthinking it may fog the original thought. And well, the simple takeaway is that if you have a chance to insert a six time All-Star and NBA champion next to Butler and Adebayo, it’s a natural fit.
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