Kyle Lowry will be the X-factor of the Miami Heat’s NBA playoffs

Playoff article image Jimmy Butler is Miami's most important player, but Kyle Lowry is the Heat's X-factor.

Photo: Jeffrey Phelps (AP)

Thermal culture is something we’ve been hearing about for years. Despite Jimmy Butlerdenial: “Playoff Jimmy” we have also witnessed in May and June for the past few years. Another phenomenon that is becoming apparent is the resurgence of Kyle Lowry. Lowry, 37, had to make efforts to turn its fortunes around after a poor performance in the 2022 playoffs. Still, Pat Riley’s words after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last year probably played just as big a role.

“It definitely needs to be addressed and it will happen. I definitely think he can be in better shape,” Riley said.We will solve it and try to help him.”

He is hampered by injuries and apparently age 12 months ago, as the Heat raced into Game 7 of the ECF against Boston, Lowry looked washed out and clearly not at his best. Anyone who has followed the NBA closely over the years knows how seriously Riley’s organization takes preparation and conditioning.

Some saw Riley’s words as “shameful” and others as motivation. Lowry used them as the latter and became one of the most important cogs in the Heat lineup. What we’re seeing from Lowry in these playoffs is what Miami expected when they acquired him prior to the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

It’s Lowry one of the best players off the bench this postseason

In 23 postseason games, Lowry ranks in the top three among non-starters in assists, steals and blocks. 15-point outburst in one game ECF he helped drive it on Wednesday night Miami leads the series 1-0took the home field by storm advantage from Boston. Last year, Lowry missed eight of the Heat’s 18 playoff games due to injury. He has matched all 12 players so far this postseason, scoring at least 10 points in seven. He had double-digit scores just four times last year.

At 37, Lowry appears to be in his best form in years. It shows physically and in Lowry’s play, and he’s finally healthy enough to contribute on the court. As the No. 8 seed, there’s no good reason to explain how the Heat will complete this improbable streak after a disappointing regular season. However, we know that Thermal culture is the real thing, and that’s what they believe in South Beach. Butler may embody that culture, but Lowry is a big part of it, and his experience will pay off in the playoffs.


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