Bonkers Lakers stat from Raptors win will leave fans flabbergasted

The Los Angeles Lakers just keep on rolling! The new-look LA team had another statement win on Friday night, this time defeating the Toronto Raptors. It was an incredible game from the home team, who got huge performances from Austin Reaves and the returning D’Angelo Russell. All is well, then, right? Well, not quite: the Lakers’ starters against the Raptors were unbelievably awful, as John Schumann noted.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Raptors’ starting lineup went completely crazy against the Lakers. Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby scored more than 30 points during the game, and carried most of the load for the team. That’s partially the reason for LA’s starting five looking incredibly bad on the +/- column.

There are two ways to look at this. The negative takeaway here is that the Lakers’ starting five (save for Russell) played horribly against a Raptors team that has struggled all year long. With Anthony Davis getting triple-teamed, LA’s supporting cast should’ve been able to capitalize on the open opportunity.

On the other hand, though, it’s genuinely amazing to see the Lakers win a game despite AD’s atrocious eight-point outing. The Lakers of old (read: pre-trade deadline LA) would’ve gotten blown out of the water by the chippy Raptors squad. Instead, Reaves (who is blossoming into one of the best role players in the league) and Russell took turns dicing up Toronto’s soft defense, eventually taking the lead from the visiting team.

It’s best to look at the positives here for LA, especially since they haven’t had a lot of those this season. A major concern for the Lakers after the trade deadline was their ability to win games without AD or LeBron James. Not only have they stayed alive without LeBron, they have surged in his absence. Now, they are proving that while this is Davis’ team now, it doesn’t mean that they solely rely on him to win basketball games.

The win now puts the Lakers in 9th place in the Western Conference, just one game behind the Dallas Mavericks for the fifth seed. Before, many critics (myself included) believed that LA would be lucky to make it to the Play-In with LeBron’s injury. Now, an outright playoff berth is in the cards.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *