What we learned in the NBA on Monday
Here’s what we learned on the night the Lakers fell to 0-3 in overtime:
The Raptors keep rolling
No team in the NBA is playing better than the Toronto Raptors, who won their fourth game to start the season Monday night, easily beating Charlotte.
Kawhi Leonard has been terrific, Kyle Lowry, while still missing buddy DeMar DeRozan, has been great and new coach Nick Nurse has done a good job with their early-season rotations.
One name that repeatedly came up during training camp — Danny Green. The Raptors really appreciated the shooting guard’s leadership and two-way ability, and so far this season, he’s been much more than a throw-in as part of the Leonard-DeRozan trade.
Green’s given Toronto a valuable floor spacer to go along with their versatile front line, and he’s helped the Raptors get off to the league’s best start.
Boston loses again
The Celtics, the team many, myself included, thought was better than anyone else in the Eastern Conference, lost on their home court to the Orlando Magic — a bad loss if it weren’t so early in the season.
Boston has more offensive firepower than anyone else in the East (and maybe more than anyone in the NBA), but through four games they’ve been up and down. They lost to Toronto and struggled in a win against the New York Knicks before Monday’s dud.
The Celtics will be fine. Integrating Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving back into a roster that grew so much when they were injured isn’t easy, but it’s been a little slower than anyone expected.
Story of the day
One million dollars is a great paid internship.
Line of the night
Khris Middleton 30 PTS, 11-14 FG, 7-8 3FG, 7 REB
Middleton, the best player no one talks about, is shooting 15-of-23 from three-point range on the season and is a major reason why the Milwaukee Bucks are undefeated.
Overreaction of the night
The Lakers should keep starting Kyle Kuzma and bring Brandon Ingram off the bench once his suspension is up because the starting lineup needs shooting more than it needs Ingram’s playmaking.
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