Oh sure, Kyle Lowry stepped his game up on offense this season. We went over that earlier this week. But what about defensively, where Lowry has always been considered pretty good by objective observers? Well, Lowry is still one of the shorter guards in the league, but he draws plenty of charges and has the speed and footwork to stay with anybody. So it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that Lowry was named the starting point guard on Basketball Prospectus' All-Defensive Team. Here's Kevin Pelton with some analysis:â†µ
First Team - Kyle Lowry, Houstonâ†µ
A long-time recipient of honorable mention accolades, Lowry took a leap forward this year by playing his best defensive basketball as a starter. Lowry's strength and low center of gravity allow him to play much bigger than his height (just 6'0"). Meanwhile, Lowry is also quick for the position and racks up steals. The Rockets struggled defensively this season, but they were far better with Lowry on the floor, allowing 6.3 fewer points per 100 possessions
Of course, the fact that Aaron Brooks and Goran Dragic are pretty poor defenders in their own right probably contributed to the "boost" effect that Pelton is getting into, but still, that's pretty high praise for Lowry. In the course of just one season, he went from a contract nobody was too sure about to having one of the best contracts in the NBA. His defense is just one more reason that he should be considered a building block for the Rockets in the coming years.â†µ
Chuck Hayes was named as an honorable mention in centers. I'm assuming Prospectus did not factor in whether he was playing someone who could actually shoot over him.