Sportsnet Hot Stove: Defence a positive for Raptors without Lowry

Serge Ibaka scored a team high 17 points and the Raptors held the Pistons to just nine points in the final quarter in a 87- 75 victory.

Despite barely hovering above .500 with a 7-5 record while seemingly mired in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, not all is bad with the Toronto Raptors during Kyle Lowry‘s absence.

Citing the team’s impressive defensive effort against the Detroit Pistons Friday after getting smashed by Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder the night before, Sportsnet Hot Stove hosts Dan Riccio, Dan Robson and Ryan Dixon focused on the positives the team has shown while without their best player.

“Without Lowry they went into a game they had to win after that horrible outing, they fixed a lot of issues and they grinded out a win,” Robson said on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Saturday. “I think if they’re a team that’s going to have success in the East they have to rely on that — defence is going to be everything for them. So there are positive signs even in this uncertainty without Lowry being around.”

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The Sportsnet Hot Stove
Some positives amidst Lowry-less turmoil
Originally aired March 18 2017

In the 12 games the Raptors have played without Lowry, Toronto put up an impressive 102.3 defensive rating—a marked improvement over the 106 points per 100 possessions they had been giving up prior to the All-Star break.

That said, however, the Raptors' offence has taken a big hit in Lowry's absence, going from a sparkling 110.9 offensive rating to a below-average 104.1.