The Los Angeles Lakers have done it. They have won a game with both Dion Waiters and JR Smith on the team.
Who’s laughing now? Up ahead for the Lakers is a test against the reigning NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, who’ll get their feet wet in the Orlando bubble. This Raptors-Lakers game kicks off this Sunday at 8:30 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Toronto Raptors (46-18, 23-9 at home)
After seeing former teammate Kawhi Leonard and his LA Clippers fall prey to the Lakers, the Raptors will be the next ones to try to stop LeBron James and his sidekicks.
While that’s never been an easy task for any team, the Raptors must be confident of containing Los Angeles, considering that they have arguably played better as a group this season than the last wherein they have Leonard.
The Raptors have even defeated the Lakers earlier this season at Staples Center, 113-104, and they did that without two of their current leaders, Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka (both skipped that game due to injuries). But now, both Lowry and Ibaka are ready to go and help the Raptors extend a four-game win streak, dating back to the pre-COVID-19 season suspension.
In the win over the Lakers, Pascal Siakam stepped up and poured in 24 points. Fred VanVleet showed he’s a capable stand-in for Lowry by starting and dropping 23 points while dropping 10 dimes to his teammates.
ROAD TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (50-14, 26-6 on the road)
Well, the Lakers got what they want in their first regular-season game at Disney World, beating their rivals Clippers, 103-101. There were some obvious rusts in the Lakers’ game, but those things were expected to show beforehand, especially with the long layoff and the fact that teams are playing in an atmosphere and conditions they have yet to get used to.
But for Anthony Davis, that didn’t seem to be much of a problem, as he banged in a total of 34 points and recorded eight rebounds and four assists. Defense was also a big key to success for the Lakers, who forced the Clippers to turn the ball over 16 times.
LeBron James hit just 6 of his 19 shots, but he finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists, nonetheless, while also playing spectacular defense, which was evident when he locked down both Leonard and Paul George in the same possession. James had a triple-double of 14 points, 15 assists, and 13 rebounds in the aforementioned loss to Toronto.
The Lakers have already immersed themselves in a true and official game-time conditions in the Orlando bubble, which the Raptors have yet to experience. That’s a factor worth noting ahead of this game, which the Lakers will win, 108-103.