Toronto was set for an easy night when the Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall couldn’t play because of a sprained shoulder, but unfortunately the Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry ran onto the court with a massive wrap looking suspiciously like an ice-pack on his lower back during the pregame warm-ups and that should have been taken as a clue that the home team’s advantage wasn’t going to be all the big after all.
“He’s had some soreness in his back,” Raptors head coach Dwane Casey responded to Pro Bball Report’s query after the game.
Lowry didn’t look right in his 12 minutes of action against the Wizards. He went 0-4 from the field, leaving his layups short, even below the rim and it didn’t take long before he started taking his frustration out on the referees. While he had a bit of a case about non-calls, it did look like he was trying to get thrown out despite the protestations from his head coach.
“I thought it was unfortunate,” Casey said. “People have said worse than that. They’ve said worse, far worse than what he said to the official.”
Casey is probably right that the official should have just walked away, but it looked like Lowry was trying to get ejected and it probably felt that way to the official as well.
Later it was discovered Lowry was using a heating pad rather than ice. It would be safe to assume he was trying to loosen up those stiff sore muscles in his lower back prior to the game.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time Lowry has suffered through back problems. At the end of the 2014-15 season he missed nine games with back spasms and admitted or not, his back was obviously still bothering him in his very rough first round playoff series with these same Wizards.
A sore back really isn’t anything all that usual in the NBA, but it can become a concern if things don’t improve and it isn’t something that can just be ignored. A sore back hurts and affects your ability to do just about everything, just ask anyone who has ever had one.
Now that the issue has been brought to light, it is something everyone concerned about the Raptors fortunes should be paying attention to.