The Miami Heat’s big move in the 2021 season was a signing and trading deal to part Goran Dragic and Precious Uchiwa for Kyle Lowry. The Heat beat the other teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, against Lowry’s. The NBA even investigated the Heat for tampering with violations surrounding signing and trading and forced Miami to relinquish a future second-round pick, which led to the team’s pushback.
Lowry had some great moments in his first season with the Heat. During large periods of the season without Bam Adebayo and/or Jimmy Butler, Lowry led the rotation of the most lowest-paid men to achieve impressive wins. He shrugged off concerns that he wasn’t aggressive enough to hit the ball, saying he was “only preparing for the real season.”
The real season is here. And Lowry’s hamstring injury from the first-round series against the 2019 NBA champions Atlanta Hawks has so damaged he can’t deliver much of anything during this playoff round.
In eight playoff games in 2022, Lowry averaged 5.6 points per game on 27 percent of the field and 20 percent of the 3-point streak. He turned the ball 1.9 times per match and provided 4.3 assists per match. It was hard to watch his performance in Game 5 last night – zero points, zero assists, three turns and five fouls in 25 minutes. Lowry rolled an open triple pointer in the third quarter, missing by about a foot.
It is clear that he is injured. Laurie showed some life in the Heat’s brave 3 game win over the Celtics. On Miami’s first acquisition, he pushed at pace – as he often did during the regular season – and found Max Strauss for 3.
Laurie’s presence is already being felt, he’s done a great job all year in pushing the Heat’s pace. Lowry attacks the defense, and Tatum is slow to move and finds Strauss for all three. pic.twitter.com/i0GIQyV9aJ
– Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) May 22 2022
Lowry scored 11 points in Game 3 – actually his highest in a playoff this year. And of course he came up with a paw steal in the last minute of the game.
But he didn’t look so good in the fourth or fifth games. He looked sore in Game 3 and 4 of the Heat’s second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Gabe Vincent was the best player in the playoffs and should start in tomorrow’s game 6.
The Heat won the playoffs series when they lost 3-2 before. LeBron James scored 45 points in Boston in Game Six of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. Dwyane Wade made the clutch 3s in Charlotte in 2016. But with injuries to both Jimmy Butler and Laurie clearly limited, the Heat’s attack looks too weak to appear in the finals. Sixth.