Randy Foye resumed his scoring ways this past week immediately following a string of five games where he scored in the single digits. But, as is the nature with players who rely on the three point shot for their production, Foye has turned on the burners and managed to put together five double-digit scoring nights. Against the Detroit Pistons last Wednesday, Randy accumulated 22 points on 5-12 shooting from deep along with 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. He followed up that strong performance with solid nights from beyond the arc against the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards, scoring 15 and 17 respectively.
Within the past four games, Foye is shooting nearly 48% from distance on more than eight attempts per night. With regards to his season averages, he is exceeding his career benchmarks in every major statistical category including points (12.4), assists (3.2), and rebounds (2.6). Perhaps more importantly now that his role on the court has been refined to a marksman, Randy's scoring efficiency and shooting efficiency marks are among the best of his eight year career.
Unfortunately for Foye and those interested in viewing his postseason exploits, the Denver Nuggets are now firmly out of the playoff hunt; they remain a full ten games behind the eighth seed Phoenix Suns. Randy will have to make the most of the Nuggets eleven remaining games to solidify his status as Denver's starting shooting guard of the future.
I feel like I can't pile on enough praise to accurately articulate how impressive of a year Kyle Lowry is having. It seems as if each week he accomplishes another feat or adds to his highlight reel of spectacular plays. This time around, Lowry showed off his scoring prowess. His best game might have come against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The bulldog of a point guard racked up 25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in a double overtime thriller. While the Toronto Raptors would go on to lose the contest, Lowry did his best to bring home the win for the friendliest team in the league:
Kyle Lowry Wants Double Overtime Thunder vs Raptors March 21, 2014 NBA 2013 2014 Season (via NBA0)
During his last five games, Lowry is averaging 24 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and just over 2 steals. Those numbers are simply incredible, and further proof that his exclusion from the all-star game was criminal. Lowry is no doubt the best point guard in the East, and most likely among the top three in the league.
In honor of his birthday (March 25th), the NBA YouTube page compiled a nice highlight video of the breakout star. Check it out below:
Kyle Lowry's Breakout Season Highlights (via NBA)
Thanks in large part to Lowry's play, the Toronto Raptors are primed for a playoff run. They've established themselves as either the third or fourth seed in the East, and will most likely be favored in their first round series. Then the real challenge would begin against the Heat or Pacers. But based on the way Lowry has stepped up his game this year, an upset wouldn't be out of the question.
It was more of the same for Dante Cunningham this past week. After two ho-hum games against the Mavericks and Houston Rockets, Cunningham bounced back with solid outings against the Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, netting 9 points in each contest; he shot 4-7 from the field both nights. On the season, while his game-to-game performances are erratic, Dante never goes on an extended streak of success or shortcoming. His averages of 6 points, 4 rebounds, and about a block per game are all aligned with his career averages.
Like Foye and the Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves have played themselves out of the playoff hunt. While there's a small window at the end of the season for the Wolves to make a run, it seems highly unlikely that both the Suns and Mavericks would falter enough to make room at the eighth and final playoff spot. Cunningham likely has 12 games remaining to strengthen his case for a solid contract when his current salary of just above $2 million per year expires at the conclusion of the season.
Maalik Wayns' D-League career carries on as he spends the final weeks of the season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. After posting some very impressive scoring numbers at the start of his tenure, Wayns has come back down to earth with 7 and 0 points in his two most recent contests. The goose egg during Friday's contest against Austin Toros surprisingly came when Maalik started for the Vipers; he only managed to play 7 minutes during the 133-137 frenzy. It remains unlikely that Wayns will be called up to the Rockets during the remainder of the season.
The news on Maurice Sutton is a little foggy this week. After weeks of decreased minutes and production for Villanova's beloved alumnus, Sutton did not appear in the Tulsa 66ers most recent box score. However, he still retains a spot on the team's website. We'll check in next week to get the definitive word on Sutton's future.
Thanks for reading everyone!