For every athlete, the talent they possess is one thing, but work ethic is another. Moreover, while Kyle Lowry may not look like your prototypical NBA point guard, he is sure playing like your prototypical All-Star point guard of late for the Rockets.
Since acquiring him in a three-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic in February, 2009, Lowry has come from being lost in the mix in Memphis to that spark plug off the bench for the Rockets and has morphed into a point guard the Rockets could have around for years.
Lowry was named the Western Conferences Player of the Week this past Monday for averaging 19.3 points, 7.5 assists and 7.3 rebounds, which has helped the Rockets move up from 11th to ninth in the West. That performance by Lowry helped cap a perfect 4-0 week for the Rockets, who play the Warriors Wednesday night.
The valiant effort the Rockets are putting forth right now might be coming a little too late. If that turns out to be the case, the run has been fun and exciting and has at least put some intrigue back into this once tired product. The Rockets have won 11 of their last 14 games, and this sudden surge is a testament not just to coach Rick Adelman getting this team to perform at a higher level than most ever expected but also to Kyle Lowry stepping into a leadership role.
When the Rockets traded Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks away this past February, the Rockets lost a leader is Battier and rid themselves of a problems, both off and on the court - brought on by Brooks.
Along with Chuck Hayes, Lowry has grown into the point guard the Rockets thought they were getting when they traded for him. The Rockets always knew he was smart and tough, and that he would be a better passer as well as a bigger and more durable body. However, could they have ever known he would turn out to be the scorer he is?
Could this too turn out to be a coincidence since Aaron Brooks was named the Most Improved Player in 2010?
Time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet any serious cash on it as the Rockets have already done to the tune of four years and $24 million.
Lowry has shown he could be that one untouchable player this offseason for the rockets. Why not?
Raymond Felton and/or D.J. Augustine might be the only other point guards in the league that have improved to the level, which is so much more than what was exected from them this season.
Am I making a case for Lowry as this season Most Improved Player?
I guess I am.
However, I don’t think he will get it. Not just because a Rocket won it last year, but because Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Utah’s Paul Millsap (Rocket killer) and Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday have come a long way this season as well. I’ve already mentioned Felton and Augustine, but what about Golden State Warriors forward Dorell Wright?
Lowry may not win the Most Improved Player honor this offseason, but more importantly, the Rockets have found themselves a keeper and winner in Lowry. I would imagine that is just fine with Lowry with or without that particular season honor.