However, because of the sheer amount of two-way talent and shooting the Raptors have on their 15-man roster, they took care of business as usual, beating the Lakers 111-98 at the Scotiabank Arena.
For most of the game, it seemed like the Raptors were incapable of missing from behind the arc, as they converted 39 percent of their 41 total 3-point attempts. Raptors All-Star Kawhi Leonard drained a game-high five 3-pointers for Toronto on his way to 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The Lakers, on the other hand, couldn’t get anything to fall from behind the 3-point line and made just 22.6 percent of their 31 total 3-point attempts. Some of that blame should fall on head Luke Walton for not running an offense that gives his players the best looks possible, but the Lakers were also missing wide-open 3-point opportunities. There’s not a lot Walton can do about that, aside from maybe putting on a uniform himself.
There were a few bright spots for the Lakers, though, even in spite of how poorly they shot from distance. Alex Caruso scored a career-high 16 points on 5-7 shooting from the field, while LeBron James coasted to 29 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists.
Kyle Kuzma had less success from the field, but in his defense, he was being guarded by Pascal Siakam, who looks like the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter when his arms are extended. He’ll have the chance to bounce back against a few familiar faces in Detroit, Michigan, which is a few miles away from where he grew up in Flint.
Last week, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the Lakers were considering sitting James on back-to-backs, so it will be worth tuning to see how Walton and the training staff manage that against the Pistons.