Kawhi Leonard misses another prime-time matchup

The Raptors look to start their road trip right in the valley of the sun

The Raptors look to start their road trip right in the valley of the sun

"There was a lot of things we could have done better today".

Trivia time: The meeting between Raptors coach Nick Nurse and Jazz coach Quin Snyder made National Basketball Association history: it was the first regular-season meeting of two one-time G-League coach of the year award winners.

Through seven games, however, Kawhi Leonard looks like he didn't miss nearly a year.

"Yeah, we're not going to fire him", Johnson told ESPN after the Lakers fell behind 41-10 in the first quarter on Sunday before losing to the Toronto Raptors 121-107 at home.

There were two keys to this blowout.

The Raptors enter their matchup against the Lakers with a record of 8-1. With the shift in the Raptors offense - new coach in Nick Nurse, no DeMar DeRozan - Lowry has thrived as a playmaker, one who had nine assists in the first quarter Sunday.

The Jazz had two strong stretches in the first half.

Though the final scoreline saw the Raptors win by just 14 points, the Lakers never really threatened to win the game.

Which brings us to the second part of this blowout: The Lakers' defense is bad.

Leonard could decline his 2019-20 player option and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. Luke Walton had a young, scrappy Lakers team playing solid defense last season (12th in the league) but right now, despite athleticism and some length on the roster, the communication, recognition, and flat-out effort are not there.

Antetokounmpo was nearly apologetic afterward.

Leonard missed the game with a sore left foot which no doubt had the Lakers breathing a sigh of relief.

Mitchell missed time earlier with a hamstring pull and then suffered an ankle injury Saturday in Denver. He shot 7-for-10 from the field (including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc) and 6-for-6 from the line while adding three assists and a block in 27 minutes.

"You still learn from it", James said.

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