Build a Kyle Lowry-and-bench unit for the Raptors – The Athletic

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The Toronto Raptors trail by 12. It’s the end of the third quarter, and as your players convene on the bench for a breather, you huddle up your coaching staff off to the side. Your whiteboard is noticeably absent; this is not a meeting about Xs and Os, about changing your pick-and-roll coverage or about a hammer set to run on your next offensive possession. None of that has worked tonight, anyway. You need something else entirely.

You need Kyle Lowry to carry a bench unit at the start of the fourth quarter and make this a game.

It’s as tried and tested a momentum changer as you have in your coach’s toolbox. Sure, you could full-court press or box-and-1 to gum things up. But your team is reeling, and the problems in this one extend beyond execution. None of your other starters have it, and Lowry is insistent — with his play and verbally when you try to sub him out — that the game is still within reach. He’s already played 30 minutes…