Sportress of Blogitude

DeMarre Carroll says struggling Kyle Lowry needs to ‘man up’

Kyle Lowry has found himself in the middle of one of the bigger stories so far in the NBA Playoffs, but not for reasons he would have hoped. The Toronto Raptors star has struggled miserably with his shot in the postseason, hitting at only a 31 percent clip after being a 43 percent shooter during the regular season.

While the Raptors as a team are rallying around their struggling star, DeMarre Carroll opted to go the tough love route to support Lowry, saying all the guard has to do is “man up.”

“You can (offer encouragement), but you know, sometimes you just have to look yourself in the mirror. You have to man up,” Carroll said during his Wednesday press conference that followed Lowry’s appearance in front of the media, via the Toronto Sun. “You have to be like, ‘I’m the Kyle Lowry that played the 82 games, All-star.’ You can say a lot to encourage him, but I feel like Kyle as the individual and a competitor, who he is, he has to look in the mirror and say ‘I’m Kyle Lowry.’”

Before Carroll’s unorthodox pep talk, Lowry said he is completely baffled by his postseason shooting woes.

“It’s crazy. It’s like I said, it’s mind boggling to me,” he said. “‘Dude, how are you not making these shots?’ he asks himself.’ For me, I go into the games like I’m about to (get right) and we are going to win this this game. Then I miss a shot and it’s ‘OK.’ Then I miss another shot and that’s when it’s like ‘All right, I got to try and do something different.’”

Lowry indicated he’s been watching film in attempt to isolate and identify why he is shooting so poorly. He also was spotted in a mostly empty Air Canada Centre working on his shot well past midnight following the Raptors’ 102-96 overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Lowry’s disturbingly ineffective shooting has become a buzz topic for the media, not to mention fodder for mockery on the Internet and social media. But he says he doesn’t let such things distract him as he tries to remain focused on the task at hand.

“I want to win,” he said. “That’s all that matters. I want to win the series. That’s all that matters. Shooting well, passing well, I want to win the series. No ifs, ands, buts.”

To win the series, the Raptors will need a lot more out of Lowry. And it would be a good time to start doing so with Thursday’s Game 2 at Air Canada Centre, a showdown that Toronto has to view as almost a must-win game.