Quick Reaction: Lakers 98, Raptors 111

8 mins read
LA Lakers 98 Final
Box Score
111 TOR Raptors

P. Siakam39 MIN, 16 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 3-16 FG, 0-4 3FG, 10-12 FT, 3 BLK, 3 TO, 14 +/-

Siakam knew with KLow out, he’d take a large chunk of responsibility in terms of play initiation and scoring. He missed more shots than usual, but set the tone throughout the game by constantly attacking a weak Lakers interior. Sometimes you watch this dude’s motor and it leaves you in complete awe. He just… keeps… on… going.

K. Leonard32 MIN, 25 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 8-20 FG, 5-8 3FG, 4-6 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 17 +/-

Leonard played like a true superstar tonight, mixing up his inside-outside game to perfection. We saw aggressive drive-ins, pull-up jumpshots, backdowns, and a whole ‘lotta threes. Just a phenomenal performance from New Balance’s finest.

M. Gasol26 MIN, 15 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 5-10 FG, 2-4 3FG, 3-3 FT, 0 BLK, 2 TO, 17 +/-

Let’s keep it real. This was one of his better games as a Raptor. It’s always good to see Marc heavily involved in the offense early in the game. This may have been by design, but Gasol himself was demanding the ball on many possessions (more good news). This is the player Toronto needs down the stretch.

J. Lin21 MIN, 9 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 4-9 FG, 1-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 4 +/-

Despite not shooting well to start the game, Lin was attacking the boards like his life depended on it. Lowry (out) has always been a guard that has excelled in rebounding, undeterred by his small stature. Lin is a larger guard, so it’s good to see him contributing in that department. He was also pushing the pace incredibly well all night long.

D. Green19 MIN, 3 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 3 TO, 9 +/-

Toronto plays better basketball on both ends when Green is on the floor. He’ll never truly blow up the box score, but almost always has a favorable plus/minus and hits massive shots when needed. His proactive play certainly rubs off on others. Still would’ve liked him to score a bit more by looking for his shot.

P. McCaw27 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1-3 FG, 1-1 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 2 +/-

This guy. McCaw is simply a much smarter basketball player than most role-players in the association. He understands spacing concepts with Nurse’s system, is a fantastic cutter, and a pesky defender with great instincts.

O. Anunoby24 MIN, 7 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 3-5 FG, 1-3 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

It’s tough to grade Anunoby when the bulk of his game assignment is quite literally stopping LeBron James. That task is hard enough in and of itself. Other than that, Toronto just needed him to hit open shots. He did an alright job, overall.

N. Powell24 MIN, 20 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 7-14 FG, 3-6 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 11 +/-

Supernova. Norm blew this game wide open and was responsible for a surge of scoring that left the Lakers dumbfounded. This has been a year of resurgence for Powell after a disappointing season last year. Toronto has relied on him an awful lot recently, and he’ll most definitely be a part of the upcoming playoff rotation. A wonderful all-around game from Powell.

M. Miller12 MIN, 6 PTS, 1 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-5 FG, 2-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -4 +/-

Miller came in, hit a couple 3PT bombs and played some solid defense. Cool tidbit from tonight? Malcolm literally played earlier in the day for the Raptors 905 in the same arena. Gotta love the annual G-League/NBA doubleheader in Toronto.

C. Boucher8 MIN, 2 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -6 +/-

Frontcourt rotation was thin with Serge out so Boucher was guaranteed to at least have a partial role tonight. He didn’t have a ton of responsibility, with Nurse expecting him to protect the rim and stretch the floor. Still a little bit on the ‘wild’ side of defending, but at least it makes for good television.

E. Moreland5 MIN, 2 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 1-1 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 1 +/-

Not enough from Moreland for a grade. Did look extremely active on the boards, though. Passed it around well, too. So I guess just close your eyes and imagine his grade.

J. Loyd1 MIN, 0 PTS, 0 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 0 +/-

Came in for the last minute. Probably should’ve came in earlier considering the lead and how gassed Siakam looked. It is what it is.

Nick Nurse

Considering Nurse was missing his star guard in Lowry, and a key frontcourt piece in Ibaka — he did a solid job. The game plan for LeBron was clear and the defensive rotations were solid for most of the game. I loved Nurse forcing Kuzma to defend early, taking him out the game with foul trouble. Overall, the rotations were deep and the intensity was there.

Things We Saw

  1. If you haven’t heard the news yet, the Toronto Raptors made a massive announcement early Thursday afternoon. Their practice facility (formerly BioSteel Centre, then nameless ever since) was named the ‘OVO Athletics Centre’, further strengthening the relationship between Drake’s OVO brand and the organization. I mean, it rolls off the tongue nice and the Gold/White/Black colour scheme we’ve seen on days like tonight’s ‘Welcome Toronto’ theme has been cool. I can’t complain.
  2. It’s always a big game when LeBron James is in town. This one was a bit different, though. LeBron’s Lakers have been a total mess this season, marred with injuries, wildly inconsistent play and a product of awful roster construction. It was pretty simple, Magic. Just surround LeBron with deadeye shooters and plus-defenders. Instead, LeBron got Lance, Rondo and a bunch of other scrubs.
  3. This game was all about intensity (wish someone told the crowd that). It just seemed as though Toronto wanted it more throughout the 48 minutes. Every time the Lakers would make a run, Toronto would silence them and effectively extend the lead once more. Lowry and Ibaka were out for different reasons, and Toronto needed their bench to play well. They got fantastic games from Powell and McCaw while the starters led by example. A good bounceback game from whatever the hell that was on Monday in Cleveland.

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