Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry on his slump: "I know I'm better than this"

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Kyle Lowry put up a prayer with just seconds to go in game one of the Toronto Raptors' Eastern Conference semi-finals with the Miami Heat and forced overtime with an incredible three-point shot from beyond half-court at the buzzer.

The shot didn't do much to galvanise the Raptors, however, and the Heat regrouped to take a 1-0 series lead with a 102-96 win in overtime. Despite the highlight play of the night, Lowry's shortcomings in the rest of the encounter were thrust further into the microscope because of the defeat.

The point guard's playoff struggles continued in this game as he put up just seven points and went 3-for-13 from the field and 1-for-7 from behind the arc. He is shooting 30.6 percent in this year's playoffs so far, the worst percentage by any NBA player in the past 50 years (minimum 100 attempts total), per the Elias Sports Bureau.

It's no secret that Lowry has failed to transfer his regular season form into the postseason in the last few years and this year has been no different as he was a shadow of himself in the first-round series with the Indiana Pacers too.

They may have overcome the Pacers with little contribution offensively from their All-Star, but the Raptors need Lowry firing on all cylinders if they are to overcome a strong Miami Heat team who have now taken home court advantage.

Immediately following the loss, Lowry was filmed putting up shots at the Air Canada Centre and stayed in the arena beyond 1am and speaking post-game, the player was under no illusions that he has to improve.

"I have [been in a slump like this], but not at this time, so that's what's frustrating," Lowry said. "In the playoffs, all eyes are on you. It sucks to be playing this bad with all eyes on me. I know I'm better than this, so I have to pick this s--- up.

"I haven't shot the ball well for a while now. Whatever. I have to find it and have fun. Be more aggressive, maybe be less aggressive, and just find a way to be myself."

The 30-year-old was extremely tentative in his approach against the Heat and didn't look comfortable at all on the court, almost becoming a non-factor for the team on offence.

This is a player who averaged a career-high 21.2 points per game this campaign and had arguably his best ever season in the league. He acknowledges, though, that his production must get back to the standard he's capable of to give his team the best chance of progressing to a first conference finals in franchise history.

"I'm trying to get my touch back. I don't know where it's at," Lowry said. "It's kind of mind-boggling right now, and it's frustrating, but I'm not going to shy away from the criticism or anything. I know I'm not playing well at all.

"We got out of the first round with me not playing well, not shooting the ball well, but if we're going to get out of this next series, I have to play better, shoot the ball better and score the ball better."

The Raptors will need a big game from Lowry to avoid going down 2-0 in game two on Thursday.

DeMar DeRozan
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Kyle Lowry

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