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Kyle Lowry calls Heat season 'a waste of a year' after playoff loss to Celtics

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By most accounts, the Miami Heat completed a successful season in 2021-22 but Kyle Lowry wasn’t having any of it after his team was eliminated by the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday.

Lowry was battling through a hamstring injury throughout the playoffs, which limited his availability, and aside from a stellar Game 6 where he recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds, the six-time All-Star played below his standards during the conference finals and the playoffs in general. The 35-year-old averaged just 7.8 points and 4.7 assists during his 10 postseason games, shooting 29 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range.

Kyle Lowry had a playoff run to forget. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Kyle Lowry had a playoff run to forget. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Asked about the pursuit of winning championships, Lowry provided a candid assessment of his and the Heat’s season during his postgame media availability.

“I wish I would have been able to play a little bit better, at a higher level, but I didn’t,” Lowry said.

“It just adds fuel. You don’t know how many more opportunities you will have to get back to this, so for me, honestly it was a waste of a year. I only play to win championships. It was fun, and I appreciate my teammates, and I appreciate the opportunity. But for me, it’s a waste of a year. You’re not winning a championship, it’s a wasted year.”

Lowry’s struggles continued into Game 7, as he posted 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting, along with seven rebounds and three assists as the Heat, aside from Jimmy Butler, were stonewalled by the Celtics’ top-ranked defense.

The internet is often unforgiving and many were quick to pin the blame for the Heat's dismissal on Lowry, fairly or not.

There’s always next year and Lowry will forever be remembered as a champion thanks to his ring with the 2019 Toronto Raptors, but winning isn’t guaranteed in the NBA and the Heat will definitely be ruing a missed opportunity to win their first title since the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade era.

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