The Los Angeles Lakers seemingly had no chance against the Detroit Pistons but immediately packed their bags to head north to Toronto with a game against the Raptors Monday night. Kobe Bryant's final game in Canada -- barring an All-Star appearance -- is the big story, but the Lakers putting the pieces back together after being dismantled by the Pistons is the important one.
The Lakers are now shameful owners of the worst net rating in the NBA, losing by an average of 10.5 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com. That puts them below the Philadelphia 76ers, who they recently lost to, and is a nail in the coffin they've been laying in all season. Nobody expected the Lakers to be world beaters, but they've become world beaten. At some point it'd be nice to see things come together for 48 minutes of "good" basketball from the Lakers.
Toronto is fighting for a place in the packed middle of the Eastern Conference, riding a top-10 offensive efficiency to victories. Kyle Lowry is going to be a big problem for the Lakers to contain, averaging a team-high 22 points per game while shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. This will will be a challenge for D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, who also have to deal with DeMar DeRozan.
Kobe Bryant is expected to play -- he told media following the Lakers' loss to Detroit that if he's walking, he's playing -- and will certainly try to put an disastrous night in Detroit behind him. Lou Williams, the 6 Man himself, could also push on the gas pedal to put on a show against his former team.
Enjoy the game, which will likely also include a courtside appearance from the Raptors ambassador himself, Drake.
Time: 4:30 p.m. PT
TV: TWCSN, SN1