Perhaps it was a little lost in the Rudy Gay trade, but the Toronto Raptors have finally turned the keys to the offence over to Kyle Lowry.
Raptors assistant coach Johnny Davis was a guest on The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Tuesday and said the team will need to adjust to Lowry’s play as much as he needs to adjust to the role of being lead decision-maker.
“Kyle is more of a really, let’s just charge straight ahead and a little bit more aggressive in terms of his own offence and creating shots as a result of that for others,” Davis explained. “So it becomes more of a point of other guys understanding how Kyle plays and then doing a slight adjustment to that as opposed to having Kyle try to change how he plays.”
Davis likes Lowry’s style of play but knows that he needs to learn to pick his spots.
“I think with what he does, it’s a very effective way of playing, it certainly keeps you in attack mode and the only challenge for Kyle would be to make those decisions where maybe we need to slow it down here and call an offensive play but he’s certainly capable of doing that,” he said.
“He’s a very smart player, very experienced and I think as we move forward you will begin to see how all the pieces fit with Kyle the same way they did with Jose when he had the throttle.”
After losing to the Miami Heat Sunday, the Raptors won’t be back on the court until Wednesday when they host the Boston Celtics. The break will allow Gay a chance to get more comfortable in the offence.
“I think what you will see is Rudy will be much more comfortable in terms of position on the floor,” Davis said. “He’ll know where his positions are in terms of location — where he should be, how we start a play, how we finish a play and those types of things which give a player comfort when he’s out on the floor. Right now he’s still kind of in between in terms of, are we going right or left?
“As he gets more practices and more comfortable, he’ll understand exactly where he should be on the floor and he won’t have to do so much thinking out there in terms of what the play is which kind of puts you slightly behind the play.”
Much the way it will take time for the Raptors to adjust to Lowry’s style, it will also take time for them to get used to playing with Gay and vice versa.
“Moving forward you will begin to see him truly understand where the spots are that he needs to score and how the other guys play and how he fits into what we are doing with the other players as well as what we are doing with him,” Davis said.
But the Raptors assistant doesn’t think it will take long for Gay to develop an intuitive understanding of his role with the Raptors.
“He’s a quick learner, a quick study, a student of the game, and it won’t take him long at all,” Davis added of Gay.