LOS ANGELES - The semi-annual trip to L. Antwaun Woods Jersey .A., his hometown, is one DeMar DeRozan has circled on his calendar each season. With the Raptors visiting Kobe Bryant, one of his mentors, and the Lakers Sunday night, he didnt expect to be watching from his couch. DeRozan, out indefinitely with a torn tendon in his left groin, accompanied his teammates to California where hes been able to lean on family and friends during this difficult time, but he was not at Staples Center as his club learned that life without their leading scorer will take some getting used to. It’s going to take us a little time to get our rhythm together at both ends of the floor, said Dwane Casey following the Raptors 129-122 overtime loss, their first game without the injured DeRozan. We made a lot of mistakes and missed a lot of easy shots we normally make. Everybody has to step up in a role they aren’t normally used to, but that’s no excuse. The Raptors looked out of sync from the moment they stepped on the floor. Their most glaring adjustment came down the stretch and into OT, as Casey cycled through his tweaked rotation in the absence of DeRozan, a fixture of Torontos late-game schemes. Greivis Vasquez filled in admirably as a starter, while Terrence Ross, Lou Williams and James Johnson each handled increased responsibilities. They all bring something of value to the table. Johnson is an elite perimeter defender, Williams brings instant offence, Ross provides shooting and Vasquez gives them a second ball-handler to take pressure off Kyle Lowry. Justifiably, none of them attract the kind of defensive attention DeRozan does. None of them have his diverse skill set. Casey mixed and matched the four aforementioned wing players in the games final minutes, two at a time, searching for the right combination to compliment Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Patrick Patterson, who was in for Amir Johnson - hampered by a toe ailment in the second half. DeRozans 28 per cent usage rate on offence is highest on the team, as is his 34-minute per game average. For the bulk of his five-year career, now into his sixth season, hes been on the floor in the games biggest moments. DeMar is a big part of us, said James Johnson, after fouling out trying to slow down the 36-year-old Bryant, who tormented the Raptors, recording a triple-double. He always brings something to the table, regardless of whether its rebounding, assists and, of course, scoring. So we have to try to move that around a little bit between guys and move minutes around between guys. Its still an adjustment period. A little bit of an adjustment, but weve got to make it, said Lowry, who scored a team-high 29 points but needed 28 shots to do so. This is what weve got. We fought hard and weve got to learn from it. With Vasquez starting and occasionally shifting to the point, Lowry was able to spend more time playing off the ball, utilized as the primary scorer in sets that once featured DeRozan. The two point guards have had success playing together in the past. The Raptors outscored teams by 186 in 490 minutes with Lowry and Vasquez sharing the backcourt last season. They were also Torontos most productive pairing in the playoffs - a plus-61 in 125 minutes together during their seven-game series against the Nets. Thanks in large part to the addition of Williams, those two have been paired together less frequently to begin this season, but their prior success and the flexibility it gives Lowry on offence was a big reason Casey opted to start Vasquez on Sunday and it may be a decision he sticks with, at least for the time being. We’ll see how it goes, Casey said before the game. When we decide on [a lineup] we want it to be consistent. We don’t want to be changing lineups every game or every other game. Once we hit it, we’ll know. We’ll know when that time and that group and that combination and that rhythm hits. They have the talent, the depth to overcome DeRozans absence but juggling the roster and placing a handful of players into unfamiliar roles, which they then have to get accustomed to, wont happen overnight. A halfhearted loss to the lowly Lakers, their first against a losing team this season, served as a harsh reminder of this. Everybody was kind of feeling their way through instead of going ahead and executing offensively, said Casey. This is who we are, this is who we are going to be. We got to get it together. Everybody is happy during good times, but we’ve lost a couple of games and now we will see what we are made of. We have to make a muscle, stay together and stay positive. Two games don’t make a season. We’ve had it pretty good here for a while but now we have to bounce back, regroup and reload. For DeRozan, a fierce and often stubborn competitor, the adjustment is in bringing himself to watch, either from home or on the bench, knowing theres little he can do to affect the outcome. Hes played in 97 per cent of Torontos games since coming into the league in 2009, missing just 11 contests, 10 of them due to injury. In the three games he sat out last season, he avoided watching from the bench. It was too hard for him to be a spectator, he had said. Casey wants to keep him involved as much as possible. He wants DeRozan to sit in on coaches meetings for as long as hes sidelined. I care about him like a son, the Raptors coach said of his All-Star guard. Im concerned about him as a person. I care about him, his teammates care about him. With the Raptors continuing their three-game road trip in Sacramento and later in Utah, DeRozan will return to Toronto for more tests and doctors appointments. Although he was unable to play in L.A., a game he always looks forward to, the brief return home may have been exactly what he needed. It was good to see him, especially after the injury, said Ed Davis, the former Raptor and current Lakers forward, who had dinner with DeRozan and his family Saturday night. Davis, the godfather of DeRozans young daughter, remains close with the Raptors guard. The two talk or exchange texts almost daily. Its his first time being hurt so [I was] just talking to him and trying to help him get through this, Davis continued. 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