After learning of Lowry’s comments, head coach Erik Spoelstra declined to name a starter at the position, perhaps leaving the door open for someone else to win the job.
But Lowry isn’t backing down, with the 37-year-old making it clear on Friday that he does indeed expect to be in the starting lineup when the new season begins.
“I didn’t say I wanted, I said I expected to be,” Lowry said.
“As a player, I expect to be the starting point guard.”
Lowry is entering his third season with the Heat. He was a full-time starter during his first year with the team, but in the 2022-23 campaign, he came off the bench several times in the regular season and was a reserve for most of the Heat’s run to the NBA Finals.
The role change certainly helped Lowry from an efficiency standpoint. During 44 games as a starter during the regular season, he shot just 39.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from deep. During 11 games as a reserve, he was significantly better in that regard, shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point range.
Moreover, in the playoffs (when he came off the bench in 22 of his 23 appearances), he shot 42.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from deep.
There have been whispers about the possibility of Lowry continuing to play off the bench, but the fact that he expects to start is certainly hard to ignore.
The upcoming season is the final year of Lowry’s deal with the Heat. The partnership, which began in the 2021-22 season, has been far from perfect, but the two sides will look to make the most of the situation in the 2023-24 campaign.
“Kyle obviously is our decorated champion,” Spoelstra said. “So playing on those words, he’s one of the great quarterbacks and quarterback minds in this league, and he’s critical for what we do.”
After making the NBA Finals last season, Miami is trying to have similar success in the upcoming campaign. The organization’s quiet offseason isn’t going to make that an easy task, but the Heat have proven time after time that they can never be counted out of the championship picture.
Whether it’s Lowry starting at point guard or someone else, it’s a safe bet that the Heat are going to be factors in the Eastern Conference again this season.