To say it’s been a tumultuous first year in Toronto for Kyle Lowry would be one of the great understatements of the season.

He has lurched from starter to backup to starter, working for another new coach with teammates that changed frequently over the course of the season and it’s no surprise that he answers quickly and emphatically when asked what it’s been like.

“For me personally? Very frustrating, very disappointing.”

And very up and down.

When he first arrived at the cost of a lottery draft pick and a spare part, Lowry was famously “given the keys” to a franchise that fully expected him to lead it to the playoffs.

He was lauded as a “pit bull” of a defender and a leader, a point guard with scoring skills who would give the Raptors a different look they wanted from their own court leader.

It hasn’t actually panned out that way: Lowry’s been criticized by his coach for gambling too much on defence, he was injured and lost his starting job when he got healthy and the team not only floundered terribly at the start of the season, it’s basically limping home in much the same fashion.

But Lowry continued a stretch of solid late-season play here on Tuesday night with 13 points and 10 assists as the Raptors stunned the short-handed Chicago Bulls with a 101-98 victory.

DeMar DeRozan had 20 points and Rudy Gay 19 for Toronto, which beat a Chicago team missing Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson.

Lowry has not by any stretch of the imagination been the sole reason for the team’s struggles but he’s the out-front guy, the major acquisition of last summer, and in that regard it’s been a huge disappointment.

He has not openly clashed with his teammates or his coaches but the overriding sense around the team is that he’s not the happiest of campers.

His own words reflect that when he’s asked what he’s learned in his first season with Toronto.

“Things just have to be different, things aren’t always going to go the way you think they should go or they may not go the correct way to you, but you’ve got to fight through adversity and keep focused on the biggest prize,” he said this week after a practice here.

Lowry’s tenure as the team’s starting point guard was cemented when the Raptors dealt away Jose Calderon weeks before the late-February trade deadline in order to acquire Gay, who arrived trumpeted as the break-down wing the team desperately needed as well as one of Lowry’s best friends in the world. The Lowry-Gay-DeRozan triumvirate hasn’t exactly thrived after getting off to a torrid start.