The Los Angeles Lakers are one loss away from matching their longest winning drought of the season, and one of the best teams in the NBA is coming to town in the Toronto Raptors. Toronto, however, just received some bad news regarding their star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who has no timetable for a return after tearing his left abductor longus tendon during the Raptors' loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
DeRozan has been great this season, averaging a team-high 19.4 points per game, but Toronto is a deep team. Kyle Lowry is doing his usual all-around stat stuffing, Lou Williams is enjoying something of a bounce back season off the bench, Terrence Ross continues developing as a three-point shooting outlet, and Jonas Valanciunas is having a career year. Losing DeRozan "indefinitely" (likely a month) is a big blow to the Raptors, but that doesn't make this game any easier for the Lakers.
Look no further than the Lakers last loss to be reminded of this. The Minnesota Timberwolves were without Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic yet still managed to slither away with a win as the Lakers ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. There's no such thing as an easy win for L.A. these days, which means more big minutes for Kobe as he tries to shovel boulders out of the Lakers' driveway, and more disappointing losses.
Byron Scott's coaching job has been very disappointing through the first 16 regular season games, highlighted after he more or less admitted the team tuned out his gameplan against the Timberwolves despite the fact he reiterated it multiple times. Whether he has the right approach to games remains to be seen if he can't even get his players to buy-in, which is a huge problem on it's own.
Either way, another day, another Lakers game. Enjoy it, and the end of your holiday weekend.
Time: 6:30 p.m. PT