With the Raptors missing Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell, Lowry stepped up big time and sparked the reigning champions to a 117-97 blowout of the Cavs at Scotiabank Arena. He scored 24 points on 43.8 percent shooting and dished out eight assists.
Thompson, who had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat, was unsurprisingly impressed by Lowry and even called him a “Hall of Famer” who serves as the team's “backbone.”
Tristan Thompson referred to Kyle Lowry as a "Hall-of-Famer" after the game last night. "He’s a (five)-time All-Star, Olympic gold medalist, an NBA champ. He’s their backbone," Thompson said.
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) January 1, 2020
Kyle Lowry has undoubtedly rose as a leader of the Raptors now more than ever after the departure of Kawhi Leonard in free agency, so Tristan Thompson's praise is not merely an exaggeration.
Toronto was expected to be a lottery-bound team after their 2019 championship run that ended the Warriors' dynasty, but they proved their doubters wrong with a spectacular start to the 2019-20 campaign. The Raptors are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 23-11 record, only a game and half behind the third-seeded Miami Heat and second-placed Boston Celtics.
While much of their success can be attributed to Siakam's big leap, it wouldn't have been possible without Lowry guiding the team and filling the void left by Leonard on offense. In the 23 games he has played so far, Lowry is averaging 20.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.2 steal per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from 3-point line and 87.1 percent from the charity stripe.
Lowry may not be someone who immediately comes to mind when discussing sure-fire Hall of Famers; however, with what he has achieved and done for the Raptors, he certainly deserves to be in the conversation.