The Los Angeles Lakers will look to continue their incredible start to the 2019-20 NBA season when they take on the short-handed defending champion Toronto Raptors.
After losing on Opening Night to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers have rattled off seven straight victories. With each win, it seems like the Lakers are more and more on the right path to a championship.
Through eight games, the Lakers defense has looked absolutely terrifying, holding the best defensive rating in the league. They also have the best net rating despite not even having a top-15 offense. This culminated with a 95-80 win against the Miami Heat in which the Lakers contested 88 percent of all shots.
For the Raptors, they have had a great start to a season that many thought couldn’t happen after the losses of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The Raptors have the league’s fourth-best net rating and rank in the top-10 both offensively and defensively.
Pascal Siakam has gone from Most Improved Player to bonafide All-Star as he is averaging 27.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. However, the Raptors will need him to do a lot more than that if they want to win, given how banged up they are.
The Raptors will be playing this game without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, who both suffered injuries in the win against the New Orleans Pelicans. This means they’ll be without two of their top three offensive options and players like O.G. Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and Marc Gasol will have to step up.
For the Lakers, Rajon Rondo remains out but he attempted to be ready for this game. Besides him, they appear to be healthy, but they can not brush the Raptors off due to their injuries.
The Raptors are still a great team with a ton of depth even without those two players and if the Lakers come out of the gate complacent, the winning streak will come to an end.
The Lakers will need to avoid a slow start, something they did a great job of against the Heat. If the Lakers can control the game right out of the gate, it makes it easier for the team to do their job defensively, knowing they don’t have as much pressure to score on offense.
This should be a very fun game regardless of the injuries. The Lakers will have to do their best to hold off a balanced Raptors attack if they want to move to 8-1 on the season.
Los Angeles Lakers (7-1) vs. Toronto Raptors (6-2)
6:30 P.M. PT, Nov. 10, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook
Projected Raptors Starting Lineup:
PG: Fred VanVleet
SG: Norman Powell
SF: OG Anunoby
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Marc Gasol
Key Reserves: Terence Davis, Chris Boucher, Matt Thomas, Stanley Johnson