Back at it after a day off, the Lakers are looking to get off a 2-0 start to the season. They showed promising signs in their tight win over the Clippers, their bench adding some nice offense for them. Kyle Kuzma knocked down four threes, while Dion Waiters showed some excellent offensive game in 21 minutes.
Anthony Davis used his size to his advantage, working his way to the free-throw line 10 different times. He was unstoppable, as he carried the load for much of the night. He and LeBron will try and knock off the defending champs tonight.
This is a Raptors team with unknown expectations. They lost Kawhi and Danny Green after last year, but yet they sit comfortably in the #2 spot in the East right now. Pascal Siakam took another leap forward, and the rest of the guys have all stepped up as well.
Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol are aging fast and may need to replaced soon. So if they want another ring, it may have to happen this year.
ODDS: The Lakers are four-point favorites, with the over/under set at 214.5.
Lakers Looking to Inch Toward Clinching
The Lakers have all but procured the top record in the West ahead of the postseason. Their win over the Clippers on Thursday gave them a 6.5 game lead over them, with each having seven to play. This means that one more win would do it for them. And it was not surprising to see them emerge victorious against a short-handed team.
Perhaps it is concerning they won by just two with Lou Will and Montrezl Harrell out. But a win is a win, and that is truly all that counts at the end of the day. LeBron struggled to score most of the night but made the biggest shot of the game. Anthony Davis was a monster all over the floor and on both ends.
The Lakers’ new pieces fit in well and showed us that we could not count them out. Ever.
Raptors Looking to Start 1-0
They will be hoping to defend their title, and if the Raptors do win it all, it could be the most impressive championship we have ever seen. Few teams can lose a superstar and still win nearly as many games the very next season with practically the same roster, sans said star.
Pascal Siakam has been All-NBA good, while Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet have continued to shine. Given that all three of these guys suffered serious injuries this year, the success is even more impressive. And they have gotten some top-level production from Norman Powell, as he’s thrived in his new role as the sixth man.
Perhaps the only concern with the Raptors is depth. Nick Nurse likes to keep his rotations tight, but given these new circumstances in Orlando, he may have to consider digging a bit deeper. We’ll see.
Raptors Win a Tight One
Toronto +4 is the bet to make! It will be a close game, and they’ll just edge the Lakers out.