After a surprising loss to an undermanned Raptors team, the Lakers will learn that you can’t take any teams for granted in the NBA. The Lakers started the game off well and looked poised for another win, but the tide clearly changed in the second half of the game. The Raptors did not have their key players in Kyle Lowry or Serge Ibaka available, but the energy of their second unit took it to the Lakers.
LeBron James recorded another triple-double for the Lakers finishing with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists. Anthony Davis contributed with 27 points, but even that wasn’t enough. Danny Green struggled heavily from the field and had 0 points in 27 mins of play.
The Raptors completely out hustled and outplayed the Lakers in the second half in almost every facet. They got big contributions from VanVleet, Siamkam and Boucher. Their athleticism and length really bothered the Lakers all night long. The Raptors are defending champs for a reason and showed the Lakers that in order to win tough games on the road, you have to have a deep bench that can contribute on a consistent basis.
Was it a bad loss? Yes and no. The Raptors are the defending champs and they showed why. It could’ve been a win if the Lakers would’ve knocked down their 3-point shots. They had good looks throughout the game, but they just weren’t falling in. Energy seemed to also be an issue, where the Lakers looked lethargic at times. There’s lessons to be learned here. There are no nights off in the NBA. Every win has to be earned. For the Lakers, the fast start is great, but they’re going to get the very best from every team. They have to focus and prepare every game like it’s a playoff elimination game. They can get it done, but consistency is going to be key going forward.