After suffering a 111-91 blowout loss to the Detroit Pistons, the Los Angeles Lakers travel to face the Toronto Raptors on the second night of a back-to-back.
While Kobe Bryant (gastroenteritis) did not play in the fourth quarter, he is expected to play as his farewell tour continues. In addition, Nick Young will not be suspended for his altercation with Anthony Tolliver yesterday after receiving a Flagrant-2.
With the Lakers facing the Raptors, the two teams previously met on Nov. 20 at Staples Center. Julius Randle had a double-double and the Lakers stayed competitive, but eventually fell short in the fourth quarter.
Since Jonas Valanciunas suffered a broken hand against the Lakers, the Raptors have relied on a committee that features Bismack Biyombo and Lucas Nogueira. While Roy Hibbert and Julius Randle should control their matchups, the Lakers need to be aware of DeMarre Carroll. Although he is primarily known as a lockdown defender, Carroll can be a threat offensively and had 12 points in the first matchup in Los Angeles.
Raptors have one of the best backcourts in the entire league with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. In the 112-109 loss to the Warriors, Lowry had a career-high night with 41 points to go along with three rebounds and seven assists. Following a 5-for-19 shooting game, DeRozan looks to rebound against his hometown team.
Keys to Victory:
Defend the Three: In the first meeting in Los Angeles, the difference in the game were three-pointers. While stats were even for the most part, the Raptors converted 15 threes on 45.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. While the Raptors are not among the league leaders in three-point attempts, the Lakers will need to force long twos.
Ball Movement is Good: Despite having two facilitators in D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, ball movement has been a constant issue this season. In the loss to the Pistons, the Lakers did not register their first assist until the second quarter. For the Lakers to have a chance in Toronto, ball movement has to be a priority.
Los Angeles Lakers (3-17) Vs. Toronto Raptors (12-9)
4:30 PM PST, December 7, 2015
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
TV: TWC SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)
Raptors Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: DeMar DeRozan
SF: DeMarre Carroll
PF: Luis Scola
C: Bismack Biyombo
Key Reserves: PG: Cory Joseph, SF: Terrence Ross, PF: Patrick Patterson
Lakers Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Jordan Clarkson
SG: Lou Williams
SF: Kobe Bryant
PF: Larry Nance Jr.
C: Roy Hibbert
Key Reserves: PG: D’Angelo Russell, PF: Julius Randle, PF: Brandon Bass