The Rockets just can’t seem to catch a break. Kyle Lowry has been an essential part of the Rockets for a couple of years now, but never more so than he has been this year. Lowry has also never been threatened with being sent to jail for six months.
As the Rockets struggle to put together a playoff season, they will have to forge on with the possibility—remote as it may be—that their best player could be in serious legal trouble. Lowry, accused of throwing a ball at a referee after a pick-up game in the offseason and screaming profanities at the referee, is being charged with battery.
There is nothing that could be more damaging to the Rockets than losing Lowry, who through six games (and four losses) has played like a superstar. According to Jon Holinger’s Player Efficiency Rating, Lowry has been the best point guard in the NBA this season.
Even if you don’t trust the PER, the standard stats seem to back up that point. To compare him to Chris Paul, who since the trade has been widely lauded as the best point guard in the game, Lowry comes up at least even with him if not better.
Paul is averaging 16.4 points, 9.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds. Lowry, on the other hand, is averaging 15.3 points, 10 assists and 6.2 rebounds. Paul has always been known as a player that was great at using his quickness to jump into passing lanes to create turnovers and has continued to do that, averaging 2.6 steals per game. However, Lowry is (in my opinion) a much better one-on-one defender and is still averaging two steals per game.
This is in no way trying to knock Paul. He is having a very good season, but Lowry is having the best season of his career. If the Rockets were to lose him for the rest of the season, this team would spiral downwards into some sort of deep dark abyss that Rockets fans don’t even want to imagine.
Hopefully, a heated pick-up game in the offseason won’t lead to a devastating season for the Rockets, but for the City of Houston it seems like the only sports luck that exists is bad luck.