The Lakers and the Raptors matched up for the first time this season. The game took place at Staples Center in front of a grueling Lakers crowd who want to see their team winning. The Raptors have always been competitive against the Lakers since the time Kobe scored 81 points single handedly on them.
But it looks like the Raptors were the only one who were into the game as they went 21-2 in the first quarter. Rookie Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa were harassing the paint because of the lack of size in the Lakers roster.
The Lakers were literally trash, not having the lead in the entire game while the Raptors seemed like a much better team compared to them. LeBron James is the sole player who has been scoring consistently for the Lakers going 30+ in the last 3 games.
Russell Westbrook has scored only 14 points this game, making it 3 games in a row that he has scored less than 15 points. The inconsistency in Russ’ game is causing more trouble for the Lakers due to which they have lost numerous games. Now, he is not even putting up a triple double since the game against Portland on 31st December.
Raptors relentless attacking
Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr and Scottie Barnes have rummaged the Lakers defense both on the interior and the outside. They scored 27, 28 and 21 respectively asserting their stand against the Lakers.
The Raptors game play was fluid as they were getting to their spot, passing around the ball more and scoring at their own will. They dictated the pace of the game for the entire game. The Lakers had no answer for their teamplay.
The game ended with the scoreline of 114- 103 in favor of the Raptors. The amount of second chance points that the Raptors got thanks to grabbing the offensive board has given them this result. Plus they got a lot of fastbreak points due to the Laker’s 13 turnovers.
The Lakers in crisis mode
The Lakers need to reassess their team’s goals and expectation as they are crumbling with passing games. It is understandable that they do not have their full team due to the absence of Anthony Davis who is their primary defensive tower. Yet that does not mean that their offence would be so lackluster.
Especially from the 3-point line, they have been abysmal as they are just 35 percent from beyond the arc ranking 19th in the league. This mediocre performance won’t get them past the play-in let alone the Playoffs. The Lakers need to get a boost as soon as possible with fewer than 15 games remaining in the season.