Lowry Fuels Rockets’ Playoff Push

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In the interest of full disclosure, we should begin by saying we were skeptics when the Houston Rockets decided to hand Kyle Lowry the keys to the franchise and trade away Aaron Brooks.

It’s not that we aren’t fans of Lowry’s daredevil style and fearless approach to any and every challenge that stands in his way. Truth be told, that’s what we love about his game, that and the fact that he looks like your prototypical NFL free safety in a basketball uniform.

But we just weren’t sure if he was right fit for the Rockets.

It’s a good thing general manager Daryl Morey is the man in charge of making Houston’s decisions, because he understood what this team needed and didn’t waste time acting on it.

For all the things Brooks gave the Rockets — a scoring threat with seemingly unlimited range, a swashbuckling young point guard who made up for a lack of size with a huge heart and competitive drive to spare — he was never the take-charge floor leader the Rockets needed.

Lowry is and shows it off on a nightly basis these days (triple doubles, and his Western Conference Player of the Week honor that was just announced today).

And the proof is in the results. The Rockets have come back from the abyss earlier this season to shove their way into the Western Conference playoff picture with Lowry fueling their push. The Rockets sit just two games behind Memphis in the loss column, and trail them by 1.5 games for the eighth and final spot in the West with two weeks to plug away and scrap their way into the postseason.

If it happens, even at the expense of our beloved Hang Time Grizzlies, it would be a huge accomplishment for these Yao Ming-less Rockets, who lost Yao (ankle) and Shane Battier (traded back to the Grizzlies) from their mix this season.

If it happens, there is no doubt that Lowry’s DNA will be found all over the Rockets’ playoff ticket. Because as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle makes clear, Lowry has clearly taken his game to another level:

All those times the Rockets could not beat the Jazz in close games, the difference was clear. The Jazz had Deron Williams. The Rockets did not.

They do now, but they call him Kyle Lowry.

Whether Lowry actually is playing at that level – with Williams often considered the league’s best point guard, at least back when he was tormenting the Rockets – really does not matter.

What he is doing – anything necessary – has been remarkable, and the biggest reason the Rockets have turned things around.

Rarely has that been clearer than Sunday. It was not just that Lowry had the first triple double of his career, or that he scored his 28 points on just 14 shots, or that he had a career best 11 rebounds or that he added three steals or that he had 10 assists while getting just one turnover in his 44 minutes on the floor.

As with so many Rockets games lately, he seemed to get his points when they were needed most, when the offense struggled or the energy seemed to be slipping. He made decisions that led to more scoring by other than even the assists demonstrated. His stats on Sunday were better than in other games, but he was in command of the game the way he has been so often lately.

“The way Kyle is playing now, he’s our floor general,” Chuck Hayes said. “He’s going to get whoever is in rhythm their shots. If it’s himself, he’ll know it. If it’s Kevin (Martin), he’ll get something for Kevin. Right now, he’s playing great, not only from a statistical standpoint, but as a leader, as a floor general.”

Even if Lowry isn’t really one of the league’s elite point guards, he’s doing a fantastic job impersonating one — 20.4 points, 7.9 assists and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the floor in his last 10 games — right now for the Rockets.

And who knows, if he leads them to the playoffs we might have to find a way to squeeze his name into the conversation of the young point guards (yes, at 24 he still qualifies as young) on the rise!

18 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Aaron Brooks did a lot for the Rockets, but it is really about time they let Lowry show his talents and I’m happy for him. Unfortunately, Brooks did get it the wrong way around and I do feel bad for him, but Lowry has a way more potential future with the Rockets.

  2. Champkobe says:

    predicted that Lowry would develop into a future star :D

  3. lucasmblanco says:

    well iv have been a rockets fan since i started watching the nba and honestly ill take this rockets team over any other , we have heart and young talent, we arent only good now but we are also building for the future, i have always loved lowry and i think he will soon be one of the elite pointguards of the nba. he earned the starting spot over brooks because he had more heart not because of more skill

  4. Danny says:

    I’m very happy for Kyle. I believe that Aaron Brooks last year, was considered a very good point guard. He led the league in three point shots made, but this year after his injury he just couldn’t get back in his groove. He still isn’t in his groove, but once he is seriosly playing like the Aaron Brooks I know, then the Suns could trade steve nash for a potential young franchise player.

  5. RoCkEtS B@LL says:

    I foresee some of the future. We will take 8th spot and make it to the 2nd round. Blurry after that….. Rockets take Championship?

  6. tayriley says:

    FINALLY, some love for the houston rockets. beginning to think that the nba doesn’t even think they exist.

  7. Tim says:

    I was a big fan of AB until this year. yes he got hurt, but his attitude also started getting in his way. The way kyle brings it EVERY game really impresses me. Whether or not he shoots it well it a game doesn’t affect the other areas of his play. I love his attitude and heart. D Morey made a great decision!

  8. alexpanesso says:

    little bear

  9. Kenenna says:

    Lowry deserves props man, he has always been solid but now hes hitting shots and really running the team

  10. Andrew says:

    Yea I do feel bad for AB but he got hurt. He never really came back. He was upset the entire time that he played so briliantly last year for them and then got hurt and lost the starting job to Kyle. I love what Kyly is doing though. I used to get kinda scared when he would shoot now I’m almost like begging him to take the 3 when players go under the screen on him lol

  11. 3point1416 says:

    KLOE – Kyle Lowry over Everything :)

  12. Eric says:

    He is brilliant. Anyone who has not watched him play. I recommend you to take a look. He is a younger D-Will with the dauntless heart.

  13. Kingsfan says:

    I absolutely love Kyle. I thought Aaron was an overrated PG who really should have been playing the SG position. Lowry is tough and knows how to run the floor. You can throw up numbers all day but true PG’s lead the team. Look at players like Derek Fisher. Yes it is Kobe’s team but in all 5 of the Lakers titles, the only thing that remained the same was Kobe, Phil and Derek.

    Now to compare him to Deron Williams is a little premature, but to be honest I think I would rather have Kyle’s heart and intensity any day. Save that extra $7 mil and buy me a gritty center.

    Mad props to Kyle for hooping it up.

    • JayHouston says:

      I wouldn’t want to compare him to Dwill. Maybe he’ll drive Adelman away, lol.
      You got a buzzer in need of a beating? Call Lowry. :)

      He’s doing great.
      Sad to se Aaron go, but great to see Kyle grow :)

  14. Andrew says:

    Kyle Lowery is Awesome!!!

    • Hasib says:

      Arron Brooks did alot on offense, but it seems these days you can’t go too far with skinny small point guards. Everybody wants a bulky defensively capable PG these days, even if they are less potent on offense. I kind of feel bad for Brooks he was over 20ppg now he’s doing alot less, but small pg’s can play fine on a team which has solid help defense.

      • fred says:

        I completely disagree…Brooks plays selfish ball…Lowry have always been a great team player…i loved him when he was in Memphis and thought they should have kept him…
        he is a great player…maybe not statistically yet…but like Battier…u’d love him to be on ur team just cuz he plays so hard…which is what the rockets symbolizes…hayes…scola…budinger…lowry…they are players who just play hard…

    • prix says:

      He played as if He is still a back up point guard earning his minutes…careful in turnovers,playing good defense,play making and intensity was there…Good job for lowry..He played like Billups back on the days…strong,smart and furious..