By the Numbers: Kyle Lowry's legendary impact on the Toronto Raptors

Michael Grange takes a look back at Kyle Lowry's remarkable tenure in Toronto as the greatest Raptors player of all time.

It’s official: Kyle Lowry is a member of the Miami Heat, putting an end to his nine-season run for the Toronto Raptors. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Lowry’s impact on the franchise is immeasurable, as he helped the Raptors go from a perennial underachiever to a perennial overachiever and, eventually, an NBA champion.

But even if we can’t fully quantify his effect on the team and the city — and, heck, the country — we can easily pull together some stats that hint at it. Frankly, Lowry did some incredible things on the basketball court for the Raptors, becoming the greatest player in franchise history in the process.

Here are eight numbers that tell (part of) the Lowry story in Toronto:

1

The place Lowry sits in a rather large number of all-time franchise stats. He is first in Raptors history in assists (4,277), steals (873), three-pointers (1,518) and triple-doubles (18). He’s also first in turnovers and fouls, largely an effect of his longevity and level of responsibility on the team.

This, of course, is also the number of NBA championship rings Lowry won with the team — a win that was in no small part thanks to the 15 points he scored in the first quarter of the close-out Game 6 versus the Golden State Warriors in 2019.

3

The number Lowry wore when he first got to Toronto because Andrea Bargnani had the No. 7 he wore in his three seasons in Houston. He played 68 games in No. 3, all during the 2012–13 season, his first in Toronto.

In that first season, Lowry averaged 11.6 points, 6.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds on 40.1 per cent shooting, and the Raptors missed the playoffs with a 34-48 record.

7

The number Lowry wore for the rest of his Toronto career. After Masai Ujiri unloaded Bargnani to the Knicks in the summer of 2013, Lowry immediately jumped on the chance to reclaim No. 7, which will now almost certainly be the first raised to the rafters at Scotiabank Arena.

After switching numbers, Lowry averaged 18.3 points, 7.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds on 42.7 per cent shooting, and the Raptors didn’t skip the post-season once before the embattled 2020–21 season.

Meanwhile, the No. 3 jersey passed through the hands of Nando De Colo and James Johnson before eventually landing with OG Anunoby, who’s now worn it for three seasons.

601

The number of games Lowry played in Toronto — second on the team to only DeMar DeRozan. Over his nine seasons in Raptors red (or purple, gold, green, camo, etc., depending on the day and promotion), he started 585 of those games, and totalled 20,813 minutes of playing time.

.607

Even counting that 34-48 record in the 2012–13 season when he wore No. 3, Lowry had a .607 winning percentage in his time in Toronto. That’s the equivalent of a 50-win season for a team that had never once reached 50 wins in a single campaign before he arrived. (The team had hit 47 wins twice in 2000–01 and 2006–07.)

6

The number of all-star appearances No. 7 made while playing for the Raptors. That’s also first in team history. Chris Bosh and Vince Carter each made five, and DeRozan made four.

74.5

The number of Win Shares that Lowry has accumulated in a Toronto uniform in the regular season. That’s another stat where Lowry sits first all time on a Raptors leaderboard, and this one is by a long shot — Bosh sits second with 61.8, and DeRozan (54.0) is the only other player with more than 50.

In the post-season, he’s accumulated 7.6 playoff Win Shares, also a team high.

129

The number of charges Lowry has taken in the NBA.com/stats database, which goes back only to the 2016–17 season. Not only is he first on the Raptors in that stat over that time frame — he’s first among all NBA players, a true maestro of anticipating movement and getting in the way.

It’s perhaps this number and what it represents that will be missed most now that Lowry has moved on.

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