Unless you've been under a rock since February's end, you'll notice that Kyle Lowry has lost his mind and has all but turned into Ray Allen.
In five games this month, Lowry has shot 48.8 percent from three -- knocking down exactly FOUR three pointers per game in that process -- and has shot 54.7 percent from the field in total. In his latest outing, a loss to Phoenix, he made 7 of 11 attempts from behind the arc. His play has sparked the Rockets' newfound winning ways since the trade deadline, sure, but those shooting figures alone are utterly ridiculous. Remember when Lowry shot under 30% from deep last year? Or the year before that? Or the year before that? Or the year before that?
As Hank Hill would say: "Bwah!" (Likely followed by a classic "dangit, Bobbeh.")
I have absolutely no clue what has spurned this hot streak from Chunky Soup, both this month and for the course of the season. I can only attribute his shooting success to hard work and pure, simple improvement. He's not taking better shots. Nothing else seems to have changed much, other than perhaps his confidence. He's just putting the ball into the net at a higher rate than in previous years, for whatever reason.
I thought I'd pass along a few Synergy Sports statistics regarding Lowry's three-ball. For fun, we'll compare them with Kevin Martin's shooting stats, since Martin has had a particularly bad March himself. Take a look at how each has fared this season from beyond the arc in particular situations:
We can take a handful of things away from this:
1. Lowry is a much more diverse shooter from the floor. In other words, he has been able to knock down shots consistently in many different situations, while Martin specializes in particular areas but does not fare quite as well otherwise.
2. Huge kudos to Lowry for recognizing Martin's ability to shoot the ball from deep on the break. I've lost count of how many times I've seen Lowry bag an assist in transition off a Martin three-pointer.
3. Lowry's ability to shoot off the pick and roll makes the play THAT much more dangerous. Suddenly, he can not only drive by the help defender, but should Lowry's opponent sag off and prepare for a drive, he can step back and knock down the more efficient, valuable shot at a reasonable rate.
4. The two of them compliment each other quite nicely. Lowry's lack of success in shooting the transition three won't compel him to hoist them up very often; instead, he'll be more inclined to either drive to the basket -- a strength of his -- or kick the ball out to Speed Racer. It's a dangerous transition attack that the Rockets possess, especially given the fact that each player has evidently recognized the other's specific talents and that one of the two players won't be taking the other out of his element.
I think it's pretty clear that despite his relatively pedestrian box score statistics, Lowry has been a blessing this year, and while he has improved in many areas, the most impressive and most joyous observation we can make is that his outside shot has remained consistently effective and does not appear to be a fluke.