Lakers vs Raptors
Photo Credit: Action Network

Game Preview: Lakers vs Raptors

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Los Angeles Lakers (50-14)  |  Toronto Raptors (46-18)

 

The Los Angeles Lakers play their second game of the eight-game NBA season restart against the Toronto Raptors Saturday night at 6:30 pm PST.

 

The Lakers emerged victorious in their last game against the Los Angeles Clippers, with a final score of 103-101. LeBron showed his clutch gene by sinking the game-winning basket with 12.8 seconds remaining on the game clock to secure the victory. He ended the game with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.

 

Lakers vs Clippers
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

AD did what A.D. does; get buckets inside the paint and at the free-throw line. He finished with 34 points and went 16-17 from the stripe. Like I stated in my previous article explaining how the Lakers have the best frontcourt in the league, nobody will be able to stop the three-headed monster known as Anthony Davis.

This is what the league was afraid of. The duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis has proven to be the best in the NBA by far. And the rest of the team has synced with them to produce the best team in the NBA.

And now they face the reigning, defending, undisputed champions of the NBA in the Toronto Raptors. After the departure of Kawhi Leonard, the majority of the league, media, and fanbase thought that the Raptors wouldn’t be a competitive team. But the Raptors themselves thought otherwise. Thanks to enormous contributions from NBA Most Improved Player Award candidate Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet. Both players are having outstanding seasons, with the second seed in the Eastern Conference being their prize so far.

 

 

Coming into this game, they are two of three of the only teams that have lost less than 20 games, with the Lakers posting a 50-14 record and the Raptors with a 46-18 record. Both teams played exceptionally well before the restart, and during the scrimmage games.

 

The Lakers come into this game as the fourth-best offensive unit and the third-best defensive unit. Expect Los Angeles to come with the offensive assault that we’ve become accustomed to seeing out of them. With the additions of J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters on the wing, expect them to contribute on the offensive end, and expect to see arguably the best offense in the league go to work. Defensively, look for L.A.’s frontcourt to shine in this game, as Defensive Player of the Year candidate Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and future Hall of Famer Dwight Howard look to facilitate the paint. The combination of these three bigs creates the foundation for the best frontcourt in the NBA.

Lakers vs Raptors
Photo Credit: Full Sports

 

On the other hand, the Raptors come into this game hungry to steal a win. This will be the first game of their season restart. Toronto finished their scrimmage games with a 2-1 record. The Raptors rank 12th in the league in offense and second in defense. Offensively, look for Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Kyle Lowry to carry the bulk of the load. The three of them combine for 55.7% of the Raptors average points per game. On the defensive end, look for former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka to give the Lakers issues on the glass and in the paint.

 

 

The numbers suggest that this game will be close. I expect it to be close. I also expect Los Angeles to come out of this game victorious. Toronto has played better than expected this season, but against a hungry Lakers squad led by a hungry LeBron James, the same LeBron James that eliminated the Raptors from the playoffs every year, they will have a full plate that they aren’t equipped to stomach.

 

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-Mike Dancy II – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: MDancyII

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