Kyle Lowry may no longer be a Toronto Raptor, but most fans, and some members of the organization itself, are still getting used to life following the departure of the franchise’s greatest player.
Prior to Toronto’s second exhibition game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, head coach Nick Nurse mistakenly — or perhaps jokingly — included Lowry in his starting lineup when speaking to the media. Nurse quickly corrected his mistake, admitting Fred VanVleet was starting at point guard.
I asked Nick Nurse for his starters.
"Kyle, Goran, OG, Scottie, Precious."
He caught himself eventually. "Excuse me, Freddie."
Old habits die hard.
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) October 7, 2021
The Raptors went on to lose 125-113 to even up their preseason record with one win and one loss. OG Anunoby scored a game-high 22 points, while VanVleet, Lowry's successor, put up 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting.
Meanwhile, the 35-year-old Lowry has had an instant impact in Miami’s preseason outings, notably dishing out 10 assists and nabbing four steals in the Heat’s win over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
It will be interesting to see how the Raptors adjust without their long-time leader and star. With their young core of VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and Anunoby still intact, and with exciting offseason additions like Precious Achiuwa and rookie Scottie Barnes, it’s only a matter of time before Canadian basketball fans embrace this new-look squad, just as they did with Lowry in his nine seasons as a Raptor.
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