I think all Raptor fans were in desperate need of some positive news. So allow me to grant just that! Kyle Lowry will be making his THIRD STRAIGHT NBA All-Star appearance!
Joining him will be Isaiah Thomas (::AHEM:: the only Celtic ::AHEM::), Paul George, John Wall, Kevin Love, and Paul Millsap. So, at least for a moment, Raptors fans may be able to fill our wet-dream of DeRozan, Lowry, and Millsap playing on the same team. Just let that sink in for a second......
I KNOW, RIGHT?!
Arguably one of the best point-guards in the Eastern Conference this year (Harden may be the only exception... yes Green-Teamers, not Isaiah) KLow more than deserved this honor. He has basically been the catalyst for this Raptors team, despite DeRozan having a career year. The numbers speak for themselves, making the case that Lowry perhaps should have even started the ASG, but we'll take what we can get. Averaging 22.4 points, 6.9 assists, shooting 47% from the field, and shooting 42% from deep, KLow has made his case to be an NBA All-Star, and then some (stats: ESPN). The "and then some" part was my way of saying "just give him the max, or close to it" come the off-season. But that's something we can worry about when it comes.
Regarding the losses, I know Raptors fans are in a sense of panic, and quite honestly I can understand why. Losing 5 straight games, as well as losing DeRozan for at least two games with an ankle injury, the Raptors are missing out on an opportunity to gain ground in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers have lost three-straight games to the Spurs, Pelicans, and Kings, respectively, while the Raptors still hold a lead over the Celtics for 2nd place (albeit, only a half game as of this writing). It's unfortunate, no doubt about that, but Raptors fans should be encouraged by the level of play that Lowry has shown these past two games without DeRozan (both games were lost by only one bucket). The concern should really be how aggressive Lowry plays and the minutes he's been logging, as both will take a serious toll on his body. However, should DeRozan get the clear and return Friday against the Bucks, this should theoretically lower Lowry's minutes a tick and allow his body to heal; assuming that the Raptors are able to close out games the way they are expected to.
Regardless, the focus here should be Lowry has had an unbelievable year and that shouldn't be understated. Lowry deserves this and should be celebrated for the outstanding player that he is.