Reigning NBA Champion point guard Kyle Lowry has withdrawn from the pool of candidates considered for Team USA’s squad, meant to take part in the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Lowry’s thumb – which underwent surgery earlier in the summer – hasn’t healed enough for him to receive medical clearance to participate in the tournament.
The decision made by Lowry leaves Team USA with a very inexperienced pool of guards, meant to lead the line against the world’s best in China.
Kyle Lowry was an All-Star for the fifth consecutive year in 2018-2019. While his scoring has taken a dip, his playmaking has been the best in his career. With Lowry on the roster, Team USA had one of the tournaments best assist men on their side.
Lowry is also a career 36.7% three-point shooter. More than passable and certainly a deadly threat. Lowry’s offensive prowess generally takes a backseat, as his playmaking is so efficient. However, the career 14.2 point and 42.4% field-goal contributor would’ve been a valuable offensive outlet.
Most notably, Lowry is a tremendous defender. Would the red, white, and blue ever line up with Lowry and Marcus Smart in the backcourt, opposing guards would be hard-pressed to penetrate the paint.
In terms of the guard rotation, Team USA is now incredibly thin. With Kyle Lowry out of the lineup Team USA lost not only their most decorated player but their post capable point guard threat. These are the next who look to fill his role:
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 8, 2019
“Swipa” as he is charmingly named by his teammates, looks to draw on an excellent past season with the Kings to power his World Cup performances. Fox is a top-speed point guard with unmatchable quickness. While he shot well from the field, his output from deep was low. He’s not the on-ball defender that Lowry is, but his ability in passing lanes may be even better. End-to-end, there are few that can keep up with Fox.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 10, 2019
Kemba Walker seems to be the prime candidate to take over for Lowry in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. He is the teams most talented scorer and is coming off of a career season with the Boston Celtics. Walker isn’t the defender or playmaker that Lowry is, but his scoring is second to none on the USA squad.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) August 8, 2019
Derrick White is a rather late addition to Team USA. Despite being the least decorated player on the roster, he is a trusted and up-and-coming point guard for head coach Gregg Popovich’s own San Antonio Spurs. He is an athletic combo-guard with proficiency everywhere but is at this moment not at the elite level.
Team USA will be taking twelve players with them to the 2019 FIBA World Cup. There are fifteen remaining candidates.
Kyle Lowry is a valuable piece, no doubt. However as so many NBA superstars have backed out of the competition, how Lowry’s withdrawal will affect the squad is not totally clear.
The opposition smells blood when considering Team USA. They are still the favorites, at a -250, but with a weakening roster by the day, it seems more and more likely that the red, white, and blue could be dethroned.
Point Guard is the point of attack for any team. Who steps up in place of the talented Lowry will have the greatest impact on the success of Team USA.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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