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Kyle Lowry’s injury will affect the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoff picture

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This’ll have ripple effects for other East teams.

Toronto All-Star Kyle Lowry will be out for most of the regular season. That alone puts a serious crimp in the Raptors’ quest to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers. It hurts their chances at nabbing a top-three seed and avoiding the Cavs until the conference finals, and it also limits the amount of time they’ll have to integrate new additions like Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker.

That’s unfortunate for Toronto, but it also has a ripple effect on the rest of the Eastern Conference. Take the Celtics, for example, who have a clear shot at getting the second seed if they could only stop losing to good teams. Or the Wizards, who might slide past Toronto in the pecking order.

John Gonzalez and Paul Flannery dive into all the ramifications on this week’s Drive & Kick podcast. Also on the pod:

  • Flanns is a little bearish on the C’s, given their struggles against quality opponents and their lack of rebounding.
  • Also we hit on some only-in-Boston referendums on Danny Ainge and Al Horford.
  • Hey, the Clippers got Chris Paul back. So why are they still scuffling?
  • One of us said this: The Clippers are still the Clippers. Insightful!
  • Gonz remains fascinated by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who did well for themselves at the trade deadline.
  • The buyout market is heating up. Deron Williams is a huge upgrade for the Cavs (duh), but where will Andrew Bogut land? We both land on Team Petty for Boges. Go to Cleveland, in other words.
  • The weird case of Terrence Jones and his quest for employment.
  • There’s some scintillating jersey talk. Flanns owned two jerseys in his youth and you’ll never guess which ones.
  • And then we threw in some Boogie and the Brow talk at the end. That’s how it should go, by the way: Boogie and the Brow; not Brow and Boogie.