The Los Angeles Lakers avoided getting gored by the Chicago Bulls in an ugly game and now head North of the border to Jurassic Park. The Toronto Raptors (12-6) have run out to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference while posting the third-best net rating in the league, outscoring opponents by 6.6 points per 100 possessions.
The Raptors are coming in on a four game win streak. The Lakers will still be without their starting backcourt in Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell, with Brandon Ingram and Raptors legend Jose Calderon starting in their place.
Calderon has been almost hilariously bad on both ends of the floor while being asked to do a bit too much in Russell’s stead. The Lakers are being outscored by a team-worst 29 points per 100 possessions while he is on the floor, and he’ll have his work cut out for him trying to guard or create against half-human, half-bulldog Kyle Lowry.
Ingram is coming off of a stellar performance against Jimmy Butler. The 19-year old rookie played a team and career-high 41 minutes against Chicago while helping hounding Butler into 22.2 percent shooting, but in the Lakers’ third game in four nights he’s going to have a tough task containing the fire-breathing stylings of DeMar DeRozan.
The Compton native is currently averaging 28..9 points per game, good for third in the league in scoring. He’s doing so on a true-shooting percentage of 57 percent, impressive efficiency considering DeRozan’s typical steady diet of mid-range jumpers.
Ingram and the Lakers will have their work cut out for them, but if there is one thing the first 20 games of the season has taught us, it’s that
Byron Scott was quite possibly the worst NBA coach ever Luke Walton’s team never gives up, continuing to find ways to surprise us night in and night out.
Enjoy the early game.
Time: 4:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet