NBA

DeMar DeRozan Kyle Lowry.

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan lurk near the bottom of a very embarrassing postseason list

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The Toronto Raptors finished only one game back from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the top seed in the Eastern Conference this season, and much of their success can rightly be attributed to their stellar backcourt pairing of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

The pair received All-Star nods for their sensational form during the 2015-16 campaign, but, thus far, they appear to have struggled to transition their explosive form into the postseason.

The Raptors are currently locked at 2-2 with the Indiana Pacers in the first round of their Eastern Conference playoff series. Paul George has been the star of that war thus far with his lockdown defence on DeRozan and his average of 26.3 points an outing in the playoffs.

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Much has been made of Toronto's failings in the postseason. Before picking up a victory in game two of their current series, they had dropped seven playoff games in a row - including the 4-0 loss to the Washington Wizards last year - and that's despite securing high seed finishes in each of the two previous regular seasons.

Lowry's and DeRozan's struggles have been obvious during this series, and field goal averages of .322 and .296 respectively highlight that in comparison to their regular season totals of .419 and .446.

So, how bad have the pair actually been?

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Two

Bruce Arthur of thestar.com has reported that out of the 204 players to have an All-Star appearance to their name since the 1979-80 season who have put up 250 or more field goal attempts, they make up two of the bottom three players ever in field goal percentage during their combined playoffs appearances, as per basketball-reference.com.

To place 204th (Lowry) and 202nd (DeRozan) out of 204 isn't just a glaring indictment of their poor performances not only this series, but in their entire playoff history. It's also a straight up startling statistic. It's incredible to think they are still in the series at all with numbers like that.

As per Arthur, Lowry explained after practice on Sunday what has contributed to their severe dip in form.

“I’ve got to shoot the shots better,” Lowry said. “I’ve got to take more shots that I work on. I’ve got to be more balanced. I’ve got to be more in rhythm and more in tune to the shots. I think me and DeMar, we talked, and they’re playing defence on us and rushing us into things, making us speed up our shots, and the shots that we normally take with patience, we’re taking a little bit — if it takes us 0.9 seconds to usually shoot ’em, we’re shooting them in 0.4. It may not seem like a big difference, but that’s what they’ve done a good job of, speeding us up, and we as players, me and DeMar, have to do a better job of getting to the spots and being patient.”

Indiana Pacers v Toronto Raptors - Game One

To give them a bit of a credit, a guard is always more likely to feature towards the bottom of this list rather than a giant center who spends the majority of his time in the paint close to the rim. Perimeter shooting is a far harder art and that's part of the reason why Jason Kidd can be found at 195th and Allen Iverson at 190th.

Other notable names on the list include Ray Allen - commonly regarded as one of the greatest three-point shooters ever - at 137th, Stephen Curry in 126th, Kobe Bryant in 122nd, LeBron James in 79th, Michael Jordan in 48th (only one spot ahead of Roy Hibbert), Kawhi Leonard in 22nd and Shaquille O'Neal in fifth.

But, out of all of these legendary names, who ranks first?

Dwight Howard, that's who.

Topics:
NBA
DeMar DeRozan
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Kyle Lowry

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