There’s a school of thought that Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry deserves the all-star honour DeMar DeRozan will live out this weekend in New Orleans every bit as much as his teammate. And few who have paid attention to this team, particularly since the early part of December, would argue that. But in the minds of those more interested in the fortunes of the Raptors’ team than they are any individual honours, the NBA coaches who opted for DeRozan and decided Lowry wasn’t deserving may have done the Raptors a favour. DeMar DeRozan will have a full weekend in New Orleans beginning with the team skills competition which he will take part in Saturday night. There is also talk that he will be called on to help out Terrence Ross in the dunk competition, although that will hardly sap his energy stores. On Sunday DeRozan will take part in his first NBA all-star game, voted there as a reserve by those coaches who have recognized the hard work DeRozan has put in every summer since coming into the league and a workload that has him among the top 10 scorers as the NBA reaches the unofficial halfway point of the season. Lowry, as mentioned, is every bit as deserving, but at least in the opinion of head coach Dwane Casey who — it should be noted — pushed just as hard to get Lowry into the game as he did DeRozan, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Raptors. When the league’s coaches opted to pass over Lowry, they inadvertently may have furthered Toronto’s cause. Lowry has been playing extensive minutes, actually slightly less than DeRozan, but at the gruelling point guard position. Add into that the manner in which Lowry plays — he doesn’t hesitate to live in the paint among the giants stealing rebounds and bumping with the much bigger men on the court or simply going at them and enticing contact to get to the free throw line, and it’s not hard to imagine Lowry getting a little more banged over the course of a season than DeRozan.