2021-04-06
Los Angeles Lakers
Toronto Raptors
League : NBA

Toronto Raptors vs Los Angeles Lakers Prediction & Preview



 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

The Toronto Raptors (21-30) enter tonight’s game having won two games in a row. On Saturday, the Raptors routed the Warriors, then turned around and beat the Wizards last night 103-101. Gary Trent, Jr. hit a long three-pointer at the buzzer to get the win for the Raptors, who rallied from 19 points down. Pascal Siakam scored 22 points for the Raptors. Trent finished with 16 points. Deandre Bembry, who started in place of the injured Fred VanFleet, scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

The Lakers are coming off a loss to the cross-town rival Clippers 104-86. The Lakers were shorthanded in the loss, playing without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, and Wesley Matthews. Without their stars, the Lakers have now lost six of their last nine games. Montrezl Harrell led the Lakers with 19 points off the bench. Marc Gasol was the only Laker starter in double figures, scoring 11 points. Talon Horton-Tucker added 16 points off the bench.

All four of the Lakers who missed the Clippers game are still expected to miss tonight’s game. Fred VanFleet was questionable last night, but did not play for the Raptors. His status remains up in the air. The Raptors will also be without Jalen Harris (Hip), Rodney Hood (Hip), Kyle Lowry (foot), Patrick McCaw (knee), and Paul Watson (health and safety protocols).

This will be the first time the two teams have played this season.

 

Shorthanded Lakers Trying to Survive Until Stars Return

LeBron James and Anthony Davis are expected to travel with the Lakers on their five-game road swing, but they are still a ways from returning to the lineup. That means that the Lakers will continue to rely on their second tier of scorers to handle the scoring load. The Clippers frustrated the Lakers last time out, but Los Angeles gets some relief with the Raptors, who are not nearly as good defensively.

 

Without James and Davis, the Lakers have to rely on players like Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell. Schroder has averaged 15.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 5.1 apg. Harrell has averaged 15.1 ppg and 6.8 rpg. Kyle Kuzma, who hit just 2-of-10 shots against the Clippers, has averaged 12.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg while hitting 35.8% of his three-point attempts.

As a team, the Lakers have an effective field goal percentage of 53.8%, 14th in the league. Los Angeles is 29th in the league in turnover percentage (13.8%), 15th in offensive rebounding percent (22.6%) and seventh in free throws per field goal attempts (.204). Defensively, the Lakers are fifth in the NBA in opponents effective field goal percentage (52.0%), fifth in opponent turnover percentage (13.6%), fourth in defensive rebounding percentage (79.8%), and sixth in opponent free throws per field goal attempts (.167).

 

Raptors Look to Win Third Straight When They Host Lakers

The Raptors have taken advantage of a little recent luck. They face the Warriors without Steph Curry and the Washington Wizards without Bradley Beal and won both of those games. Now, the Raptors get the Lakers without a host of key players, including LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Of course, the Raptors may have to win once again without Fred VanFleet, who has missed the last three games with an injury.

 

Toronto is led by Pascal Siakam, who has averaged 20.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, and 4.7 apg. Siakam has gotten some help recently by Gary Trent, Jr., who has raised his average to 16.8 ppg on the strength of 43.2% shooting from beyond the arc. OG Anunoby has averaged 15.0 ppg while hitting 40.6% from downtown.

Offensively, the Raptors are 20th in the NBA in effective field goal percent (53.4%), seventh in turnover percentage (12.0%), 21st in offensive rebounding percentage (20.4%), and sixth in free throws per field goal attempts (.205). Defensively, Toronto is 18th in opponents effective field goal percentage (54.0%), 1st in opponent turnover percent (14.6%), 29th in defensive rebounding percent (75.8%), and 30th in opponents free throws per field goal attempts (.241).






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