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Lakers vs. Raptors Game Preview: Ring in the new year with some resolve

Hopefully the Lakers all made a New Year’s resolution to be better.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a new year, and hopefully that means we get a renewed focus from the Los Angeles Lakers. Their first outing of 2017 is against the Toronto Raptors in STAPLES Center, which means DeMar DeRozan is back home and will be looking to take advantage of the Lakers’ horrendous defense.

DeRozan, who’s painted himself into being the NBA’s biggest Kobe Bryant disciple, is enjoying a career year as Toronto chases the Cleveland Cavaliers. DeMar is scoring a career-high 27.4 points per game. His true shooting percentage is also at a career peak at .555, despite the fact he’s only shooting 24.5 percent from three-point range.

The Raptors have the best offense in the NBA, averaging 113.5 points per 100 possessions. The Lakers have the second-worst defense in the NBA, allowing 109.9 points per 100 possessions. Sources indicate LA might be in a bit of trouble Sunday night, but perhaps a new year will bring a new Lakers team. Heck, most would settle for them just to get back to being the team that went 10-10 to start the year, fought to compete in just about every game and finally looked like there was reason to be hopeful.

Losing has tainted what was a great start to a new era of Lakers basketball, but in the long-term it means very little. If the team can settle down and get back to executing and playing with effort as they did in November they’ll be right back on track. Let’s see if they bring some resolve to improve after falling flat. Enjoy the first Lakers game of 2017.

Time: 6:30 p.m. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

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