Kyle Lowry

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Lowry, Durant, Paul

The Raptors might offer Marc Gasol a one-year deal, but he’ll likely have more pursuers, according to The Toronto Star’s Doug Smith. Although Gasol didn’t have a notable impact in the postseason, the Raptors can re-sign the veteran center to a short-team deal and preserve cap space for next summer. However, he might get a multi-year offer elsewhere or play overseas.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry will become an unrestricted free agent after next season and it’s quite possible he could finish his career elsewhere, Smith writes in a separate story. It’s unlikely the Raptors will offer him an extension beforehand, since they’re hoping to keep their options open in 2021 free agency. Lowry, who will make $30.5MM next season, has shown he has plenty left in the tank. But his long run with the team could eventually end if Fred VanVleet is re-signed this summer.
  • Kevin Durant has been working out and playing full court with Nets teammates in Los Angeles, Net Income of NetsDaily relays. Durant, who sat out this season rehabbing his ruptured Achilles, says he feels “like myself” but still has a long way to go to reach his previous level. “I’m in a stage now where we’re just hooping every day,” Durant said on Joe Budden’s podcast. “I feel good waiting for next season to get back.”
  • How could Chris Paul land in Philadelphia? A number of Athletic writers explore various trade possibilities with either Paul or fellow Thunder guard Dennis Schroder – or even both – winding up with the Sixers.

Atlantic Notes: Hayward, Lowry, Ivey, Gasol

The Celtics’ Gordon Hayward has cleared the quarantine process in Orlando, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets, but it’s uncertain whether he’ll be able to play in the conference finals if his team advances on Friday. Hayward suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain in the first round of the playoffs last month against the Sixers. He averaged 17.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 4.1 APG during the regular season.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • Kyle Lowry doesn’t need any added incentive after leading the Raptors to a Game 7 showdown with Boston, but he’ll benefit monetarily if the Raptors reach the conference finals for the second consecutive season. Lowry will earn a $500K bonus if Toronto advances, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.
  • Knicks player development coach Royal Ivey is drawing interest from other teams, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. The Knicks aren’t sure whether they want to hold onto Ivey and it’s likely he’d be allowed out of his contract to pursue another job. At least one team was interested in giving Ivey a more prominent assistant’s role last season but the Knicks’ previous regime wouldn’t allow an interview. New York had plans to add a sixth assistant, but it’s unclear if that will happen, Begley adds.
  • Marc Gasol‘s stint with the Raptors is heading toward an unceremonious end, Michael Grange of Sportsnet Canada writes. The impending free agent center is averaging just 5.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 2.0 APG in the conference semifinals against Boston. Gasol is making $25.6MM in the final year of his contract.

Raptors Notes: Game 3 Victory, Lowry, Nurse

It took a miracle shot for Toronto to edge the Celtics in Game 3, but Raptors players believe their performance throughout the entire second half might have changed direction of the series, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Toronto rediscovered the formula that led to a championship last season, getting contributions up and down the roster to overcome a 10-point halftime deficit.

“I think it’s really good for guys to be able to come in and make plays down the stretch when we need ’em,” Norman Powell said. “I think guys on this team have all been in situations like that when their name is called or whatever it is that they’ve gotta go out there and perform and produce no matter what role you’re in or how many minutes you get, you’re trying to go out there and make winning plays for the team. I thought everybody down the stretch, especially in the second half, was able to do that in certain ways. It wasn’t always scoring, it was little things that didn’t show up on the box score: Setting screens for guys to get open and get to the rim, moving the ball, things like that.”

There’s more Raptors news to pass along:

  • Kyle Lowry shared in the game-winning moment, throwing the inbounds pass that set up OG Anunoby‘s game-winner, but Toronto needed his brilliant performance throughout the game to have a chance, observes John Schuhmann of NBA.com. Lowry, who had been mired in a shooting slump for the first two games of the series, explained the inspiration for his breakout performance of 31 points, six rebounds and eight assists. “I got a text from a real close friend of mine,” he said, “and he kinda told me, ‘Stop waiting.’ And that was pretty much the game plan for me tonight, to stop waiting and be aggressive from the jump. He was correct.”
  • Nick Nurse is endorsing comments from Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who criticized the NBA for not allowing family members to enter the Disney World campus until the first round of the playoffs ended, tweets Josh Lewenburg of TSN Sports. Nurse said he probably wouldn’t have brought his family because he doesn’t believe the atmosphere is good for children, but he agreed that many coaches and staff members have been affected by being isolated for so long.
  • In case you missed it, the Raptors are considered one of the leading contenders to sign Giannis Antetokounmpo if he becomes a free agent next summer.

Injury Updates: Butler, Westbrook, Lowry, Beverley

The Heat have a week-long break after sweeping the Pacers in the first round, and the time off has given two players a chance to overcome injuries, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Jimmy Butler, who played Game 4 against Indiana with a strained left shoulder, and Jae Crowder, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle, were both able to practice today.

“We had a couple of really good days of work and nobody was in a mood to work on Wednesday night or Thursday,” said coach Erik Spoelstra, who now has a fully healthy roster. “And that was the reason for this pause. We’ve been able to get a couple good days of work (Friday and Saturday). We’ll watch the (Bucks-Magic) game this afternoon and see what happens. Either way, our guys will be ready.”

There’s more injury news around the league:

  • Russell Westbrook will make his playoff debut for the Rockets today, but his minutes will be restricted, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Coach Mike D’Antoni said Westbrook, who has been sidelined since Aug. 11 with a strained right quadriceps, will be limited to 25-28 minutes in Game 5.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has been upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday’s opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Lowry sprained his left ankle in the final game of the Nets series when he stepped on Chris Chiozza‘s foot. He was able to practice today, and Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he “looked OK.”
  • Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has been moved from doubtful to questionable for Sunday’s Game 6 against Dallas, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Beverley hasn’t played since the series opener because of a strained left calf.
  • Nuggets guard Gary Harris is listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 6 against Utah, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). Harris is dealing with a strained right hip and hasn’t been able to play since the season restarted.

Injury Updates: Westbrook, Gordon, Lowry, Mavs

After initially being ruled out for Game 5 due to his quad injury, Rockets guard Russell Westbrook was upgraded to questionable today, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets.

With the Rockets and Thunder set to tip off at 5:30 pm central time tonight, Westbrook is expected to test his strained quad on the court before the game, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that the All-Star point guard will be a game-time decision.

While it remains to be seen whether Westbrook will get the go-ahead to play tonight, it sounds as if he’s getting awfully close, which means the odds we’ll see him in action before the end of the series are increasing.

Here are a few more brief injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Magic forward Aaron Gordon (hamstring) has been ruled out for Game 5 against Milwaukee, the team announced today (via Twitter). We heard on Tuesday that Gordon was still having trouble running up and down the court and that the club didn’t want to risk him suffering a more serious injury. If Orlando loses today, Gordon’s season will be over without him getting a chance to play in the postseason.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (ankle sprain) didn’t practice again today, as Marc Stein of The New York Times tweets. However, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca doesn’t necessarily view that as a bad sign, tweeting that there would be no sense running Lowry through a full practice even if he’s feeling good and plans to play on Thursday. Lowry’s status for Game 1 against Boston remains up in the air.
  • Four key Mavericks players – Kristaps Porzingis (knee), Luka Doncic (ankle), Dorian Finney-Smith (hips), and Trey Burke (ankle) – are listed as questionable to play in Game 6 on Thursday, with Dallas’ season on the line, according to Brad Townsend and Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links).

Injury Notes: AD, Rondo, Lillard, Westbrook, Lowry, More

Although he left Game 4 on Monday due to back spasms, Lakers star Anthony Davis is expected to be good to go on Wednesday and is being listed as probable on the injury report. However, point guard Rajon Rondo is still “banged up” and likely won’t play, per head coach Frank Vogel (Twitter links via Dave McMenamin of ESPN). Rondo is being listed as doubtful for Game 5.

Meanwhile, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who has already been ruled out for Game 5 due to a right knee sprain, is unlikely to return this series even if Portland can extend it by a game or two, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. According to Haynes, Lillard is currently unable to extend his right leg.

Here are more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said today that he still thinks Russell Westbrook could return in the first round, but it won’t happen on Wednesday, as the team has listed Westbrook as out for Game 5 vs. Oklahoma City (Twitter links via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle).
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry didn’t participate in practice on Tuesday and is considered day-to-day for the time being, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, who tweets that Lowry’s status for Game 1 vs. Boston on Thursday remains uncertain.
  • Nuggets guard Gary Harris (hip), who was previously listed as questionable for Game 5 against Utah tonight, has been downgraded to out, the team announced (via Twitter). With Denver trailing 3-1 in the series, it’s possible Harris won’t return this season.
  • Heat wing Jimmy Butler has been battling a left shoulder strain but doesn’t expect the issue to limit him going forward, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Head coach Erik Spoelstra, who referred to it as a “soft-tissue” injury, said no MRI is scheduled for now.
  • Magic forward Aaron Gordon (hamstring) appears unlikely to be ready for Game 5 on Wednesday, according to head coach Steve Clifford, who says that Gordon is still unable to sprint up and down the court and the team doesn’t want to risk him suffering a more serious injury (Twitter links via Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel).

Kyle Lowry Has Ankle Sprain, No Timeline Provided For Return

After undergoing an MRI, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has been diagnosed with a left ankle sprain, the team announced today in a press release. Lowry suffered the injury during the first quarter of Sunday’s blowout win over Brooklyn.

The Raptors didn’t provide any sort of timeline for Lowry’s recovery and return, stating in today’s announcement that his condition will be updated as appropriate.

Lowry’s return date will largely be dictated by the severity of the sprain. Mavericks star Luka Doncic was able to play in Game 4 of Dallas’ series on Sunday after spraining his ankle in Game 3 on Friday and had one of the best games of his career. However, Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has been ruled out for four weeks with a more severe sprain.

The Raptors’ second-round series against Boston is scheduled to get underway on Thursday evening, so it’s safe to assume we’ll get an update on Lowry’s potential availability for Game 1 within the next couple days.

Although the Raptors went 12-2 without Lowry in their lineup this season, the six-time All-Star has been a crucial part of the team’s success. Toronto’s chances of advancing to the Eastern Finals would dip if he’s forced to miss any time.

If Lowry does have to sit out, Norman Powell would be the top candidate to slide into the starting lineup, with rookie Terence Davis likely earning some extra playing time off the bench.

Injury Notes: Lowry, Westbrook, Magic, Porzingis, Rondo

A foot injury suffered by Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was the only blemish on Toronto’s blowout win of Brooklyn on Sunday, as the team completed its sweep and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

According to Andrew Lopez of ESPN, Lowry was scheduled to undergo an MRI on the arch of his left foot after turning his ankle early in the Raptors’ win on Sunday. Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca tweets that Lowry had that MRI last night and the team is expected to provide an update on his status at some point on Monday.

The Raptors’ second-round series against Boston is scheduled to get underway this Thursday, so if Lowry’s injury is considered a day-to-day issue, he’ll have some time to get ready for Game 1. The Raptors had no issue beating the Nets without Lowry on Sunday, but will need him back in the lineup to increase their chances of getting past Boston and returning to the Eastern Finals.

[UPDATE: Kyle Lowry Has Ankle Sprain, No Timeline Provided For Return]

Here are more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, who is on the shelf with a quad strain, stepped up his workouts on Sunday, but has been ruled out for Game 4 on Monday, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Westbrook did on-court work, including quick stops and starts, yesterday, per Feigen.
  • Aaron Gordon (hamstring) and Michael Carter-Williams (foot) will remain sidelined for the Magic in Game 4 against Milwaukee this afternoon, the team announced (via Twitter). Neither player has been active for a playoff game so far.
  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis was set to undergo an MRI on his right knee on Sunday, per head coach Rick Carlisle. As Tim MaMahon of ESPN tweets, Porzingis’ status for Game 5 on Tuesday remains up in the air.
  • Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo is ready to return from his thumb injury, but has been nagged by back spasms in recent days. After being scratched for Game 3, Rondo is listed as doubtful for Game 4 on Monday, per the NBA’s official injury report.

Giannis Antetokounmpo To Miss Monday’s Game

The Bucks and Raptors will face one another on Monday night in a possible Eastern Conference Finals preview, but the MVP frontrunner won’t be taking part in the game. Milwaukee announced in this afternoon’s injury report that Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t play against Toronto due to oral surgery.

It’s probably safe to assume the ailment wouldn’t sideline Antetokounmpo for an important playoff game, but with the Bucks and Raptors locked into the East’s Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, there’s no real need for the two teams to go all-out tonight.

It’s possible the Raptors will be without some of their key rotation players as well. Kyle Lowry (lower back soreness), Fred VanVleet (hyperextended right knee), and Serge Ibaka (right knee contusion) are all listed as questionable for the second end of a back-to-back set.

Here are a few more injury and availability updates from around the NBA:

  • Rockets star James Harden will sit out on Tuesday vs. San Antonio for rest purposes, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. However, Houston will get two other guards back this week, per Feigen, who says that Russell Westbrook (quad) will return on Tuesday and Eric Gordon (ankle) will play on Wednesday vs. Indiana. Each player will suit up for one of two games in the back-to-back set.
  • The Pelicans have listed Jrue Holiday (right elbow contusion), Brandon Ingram (right knee soreness), and Zion Williamson (right knee soreness) as out for Tuesday’s game vs. Sacramento. Head coach Alvin Gentry said today that the three players are sitting out for “precautionary” reasons, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez (Twitter link). New Orleans was eliminated from playoff contention over the weekend.
  • It’s not an injury, but Suns center Deandre Ayton didn’t start this afternoon’s game vs. Oklahoma City because he missed his scheduled COVID-19 test on Sunday, tweets Gina Mizell. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links), Ayton was re-tested on Monday morning and received clearance to rejoin the team, arriving late to the game against the Thunder.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Crawford, Lowry, Walker

Raptors coach Nick Nurse isn’t worried about his team being forgotten as they look to repeat as NBA champions this year, Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes.

The Raptors, who were overlooked at times before defeating the likes of Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and an injury-riddled Golden State team last season, beat the Lakers 107-92 on Saturday for their first victory in Orlando. The Lakers, headlined by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, are naturally one of the league’s most feared contenders.

“Yeah, maybe,” Nurse said on whether onlookers are listening to the team’s confidence this season. “I don’t think anybody’s going to pay much attention, they don’t ever seem to, but it’s OK.

“Seriously man, we love to play the games and we like to compete, we know we’re tough to beat, we really do, and I think there’s a ceiling we can get to yet.”

The Raptors currently hold the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 47-18. They trail the No. 1 seed Bucks by 6.5 games, leading the No. 3 seed Celtics by four contests. It’s no secret they’ve outperformed expectations this season, a sentiment backed by James himself.

“That’s a great team,” James said. “No ifs, ands or buts. Exceptionally well coached and championship DNA, you can never take that away from a ballclub if you win a championship. And even before that, they just got playoff-tested guys. Guys that played not only here in the NBA in big games, but also in FIBA games as well. Marc [Gasol] has been in big games throughout his whole life pretty much it seems like.

“So, that’s just a great team. The media may not talk about them much or give them much credit because Kawhi [Leonard] is gone, but players in the league definitely know what type of team they are.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division today:

  • Nets guard Jamal Crawford will work out Sunday and Monday with hopes of getting his conditioning up to speed, interim coach Jacque Vaughn said, as relayed by Brian Lewis of the New York Post (Twitter link). Crawford, a respected veteran across the league, has yet to appear in a game with Brooklyn due to his conditioning issues.
  • Kyle Lowry makes the Raptors a legitimate threat for an NBA Finals berth, Mark Medina of USA TODAY opines. Lowry recorded 33 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in the team’s win against the Lakers on Saturday, proving his worth on both ends of the floor. “He seems to get himself into incredible shape, and he seems happy,” Nurse said. “He seems focused and is really excited and ready to play. It rubs off on the other guys. That’s what makes him a great leader.”
  • Celtics star Kemba Walker looked good in his first action in Orlando on Friday, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston writes. Walker scored 16 points in 19 minutes against the Bucks, shooting 5-of-9 from the floor in limited time as he bounces back from a knee injury. “I thought [Walker] looked great,” teammate Gordon Hayward said. “Definitely showed good spurts there. Definitely brings some pace to our team. Another threat, another ball-handler, another guy that’s a competitor and a winner, and we’re happy to have him back.”