Kyle Lowry has sat the last two fourth quarters. What does it mean?

Jan 28, 2023 - 4:49 PM
Orlando Magic v <a href=Miami Heat" src="" />
Photo by Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images

Earlier this week, I wrote about Kyle Lowry’s clutch performance against the New Orleans Pelicans, scoring nine straight fourth-quarter points. It was a nice jolt to turn an otherwise pedestrian Lowry game into something notable.

But in the Miami Heat’s subsequent two wins to take them to a season-best six games above .500 — against a depleted Boston Celtics team and the Orlando Magic last night — Lowry has sat the entire fourth quarter both times.

The easy answer is that Lowry didn’t score much in either game. After going 1-for-7 against Boston, Lowry scored just six points last night. And Gabe Vincent made two 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter against the Magic, igniting a Heat run. But Vincent didn’t play for the entire fourth period. Tyler Herro subbed in for him with 3:55 left to go.

Both members of the Heat’s starting backcourt have struggled offensively these last two games. After shooting 4-of-19 against the Celtics — yes, he made a clutch 3 — Herro wasn’t much better last night against Orlando. He shot 4-of-12. Despite all that, Spoelstra has given Herro fourth-quarter minutes both games — not Lowry.

Has Erik Spoelstra benched Lowry as a punishment for his sub-par play? Is it reflective of having Vincent, who has recently played like a quality backup point guard, available since his return from injury a month ago? Does it signal a trade for Lowry is in the works?

I wouldn’t bet on a Lowry trade by the Feb. 9 deadline. But Spoelstra not playing a $28 million player fourth-quarter minutes doesn’t bode well for Lowry’s future in Miami.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!