Raptors make short work of the Los Angeles Lakers

Raptors get back on track against the Lakers.

Once the news dropped that the Los Angeles Lakers would have to face the Toronto Raptors without the star duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James it was expected that Toronto would win comfortably and they did, but there were so many positive things we can highlight from this blowout victory.

Fred VanVleet had his best game in quite some time and it was wonderful to see him get back in the swing of things. VanVleet had 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists on 40% FG and the aggression he showed last night is what the Raptors will need from him moving forward. In the first quarter alone Fred came out with 11 points and the way he was getting downhill to the rim and the crafty finishes he converted were just wonderful. The outside shooting still wasn’t good efficiency wise but Fred didn’t let that hold him back at all. His playmaking was also good yesterday which was bolstered as he got to the rim. He also had great awareness in transition when he pushed the ball for easy looks in early offense. This is the Fred the Raptors will need moving forward and it’s wonderful to see him kind of get out of his slump.

Usually when you miss extended time there is an adjustment period that you go through to get back into shape and this just hasn’t been the case for Pascal Siakam who in every game since his return has shown 0 signs of slowing down. Last night Siakam had 25 points, 10, rebounds, and 7 assists and once again he did it in a myriad of ways. Nobody on the Lakers last night could stay in front of Pascal as he danced his way into point blank layups and fired off silky smooth mid range jumpers.

The game overall did go back and forth initially. The Raptors jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the opening minutes and then Russell Westbrook came in and willed the Lakers back. The Raptors also were allowing the Lakers a lot of wide open threes(which has been a recurring issue lately) which kept them in it early. By the second quarter though the game was already out of hand for the Lakers and they were just getting punished by many Raptors. The game became unnoteworthy pretty early on.

The Raptors shooting woes have still continued as they shot 27.9% from three last night and are at 29.5% for their last 10 games. The Raptors aren’t an elite shooting team but this slump is amplified by the Raptors designated shooters not shooting so well as of late( OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr.). They got away with it tonight because the Lakers were so short handed they were able to lock them up defensively. But moving forward they are going to need to bring these percentages up if they want to hang with the better teams in the NBA.

The Raptors next two games are against the Orlando Magic who they beat earlier this season and are a young team who the Raptors can once again use to shore up any issues they have on defense.

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