The Kyle Lowry conundrum
Travis seeks fantasy counsel from Coach David Thorpe
BY TRAVIS MORAN and DAVID THORPE
Baked beans. That’s what I associate with Kyle Lowry.
It’s not his fault, of course. Lowry didn’t tell me to move to Beijing, where I had to awaken early in the northeastern neighborhood of Lido and head to a local bar for a shitty English breakfast served with a live broadcast of the 2019 NBA Finals.
In the first five games of that classic Raptors-Warriors series, Lowry was decent, not great. In Game 6, though, Lowry turned in an all-time clutch performance: 26 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, three steals.
I vividly remember—with a cup of coffee in one hand and a pint of Guinness in the other—yelling “Oh shit!” when this happened.
The problem is, now two weeks into my East Harlem Hustle fantasy campaign, I’m hearing an off chord somewhere in the composition; I have to fix it before it becomes my swan song. In fact, “Lowry looks awful” was the very first piece of trash talk I received this season from my brother, the mouthy manager of Luscious Luka Triangle.
If you missed our fantasy draft recap, you missed my whole spiel about bias. In Lowry’s case, it’s confirmation bias: I remember the good and (do my best to) forget the bad.
It’s called the ostrich effect: We bury our heads in the sand to avoid information that may disprove our original theory. In my case, the theory is that Lowry can summon some kind of magical superpowers. It’s also a complete delusion (ever see “Legion”?) that a soon-to-be-37-year-old not named LeBron will somehow manifest his younger abilities. Jason Momoa would be whooping Lowry’s all-too-famous ass.
Or would he … ?
Against the Warriors this week, Lowry was his old solid self: 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting, nine assists, five rebounds. He also hit this clutch shot late in the fourth quarter.
Weirdly enough, the Heat called their shot with that win. In fact, I thought Lowry was speaking directly to Hustle brass this week when he told The Athletic:
I feel great. I feel like I can still do it. Yeah, I think I did a little bit of it tonight. I don’t want to have to do it, because we’ve got such a young, talented team, and I bank on my guys to hold me down because the marathon is more important, not the sprint. The last couple of games, I’ve done a lot more than I have been.
Quote plus clutch bucket equals confirmation—all I needed. Never mind that Lowry has been underwhelming; the same could be said for the East Harlem Hustle, who currently reside in sixth place overall.
If last year’s championship run taught me anything, it’s that blowing things up early is a good idea. But it also taught me to avoid knee-jerk reactions (like dropping Jordan Poole after drafting him, like right before he became “Jordan Poole”). No reason to get entrenched in spite just because you’ve made another monumental mistake.
And all this leaves me with a conundrum: Do I stick with Lowry or should I open his slot to the hottest hand on the waiver wire?
Let me invite you into the East Harlem Hustle inner circle, where we’ll be joined by TrueHoop’s resident basketball wizard, Coach David Thorpe. We’ll do a rundown of the entire roster, take a look back at how my draft really turned out, and discuss my chief concerns. Among them:
Should the Hustle be worried about Karl-Anthony Towns’ overall production?
How do I mitigate damage after taking Franz Wagner with my sixth pick?
What about that Tyrese Maxey-for-Desmond Bane offer I received this week?
Finally, Coach Thorpe will evaluate some key guards who might be lurking on your league’s waiver wire.
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