Charles Oakley rips Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan
If there’s one thing we know about Charles Oakley, it’s that he isn’t shy about saying what’s on his mind. He recently called out Charles Barkley and went off on Knicks owner James Dolan a few months ago. Now, the Raptors back court of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan is squarely in Oakley’s sights.
Oakley spent three seasons playing for the Raptors. That doesn’t mean he’ll take it easy on members of the current team, though. If Oakley feels criticism is warranted, he will certainly say so. It’s been well documented that Lowry and DeRozan have both been struggling with their shots during this year’s playoffs and Oakley clearly feels they could be doing other things to help Toronto win.
“They’re taking too many shots,” Oakley told the Toronto Star. “My thing is, if you’re off, do something else. They can’t do nothing else. Play some defense. Pass the ball. Come on, man. What’s going on with DeRozan and Lowry?”
Through the first nine games this postseason, Lowry and DeRozan have made just 103 of 317 (32%) shot attempts. Included in that is a game in which DeRozan shot 32 times, while making just 10 of them.
Oakley was glad to see the Raptors win on Thursday to even the series with the Heat, but is clearly not overly confident about the next two games in Miami.
“It’s ugly. I’m glad they won Thursday night, but I don’t know about (Games 3 and 4) in Miami,” Oakley said. “DeRozan and Lowry don’t have it. It’s a different basketball. These guys are just shooting to be shooting.”
If the Raptors are going to get past the Heat for a date with (presumably) the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, Lowry and DeRozan are going to have to lead the way. Those two taking the majority of Toronto’s shots are what’s gotten them to this point. The problem is, when the attempts aren’t falling, the Raptors’ offense is ugly, as Oakley stated.
At their best, Lowry and DeRozan make up one of the best guard pairings in the NBA. And, it’s entirely possible they return to form any game now. Raptors fans are certainly hoping that’s the case sooner rather than later.