Matchup: Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Records: Raptors (6-2), Lakers (7-1)
Where to Watch
Date: Nov. 10
Time: 9:30 p.m.
TV: TSN 4/5
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
The Raptors will be without two key players when they take on the Lakers on Sunday.
In a win over the New Orleans Pelicans to start its Western Conference road trip, Toronto lost both Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka to injuries. Lowry suffered a fracture in his left thumb while Ibaka left the game with a sprained ankle. The Raptors announced on Saturday that Lowry will be re-evaluated in two weeks and Ibaka is out indefinitely.
Lowry and Ibaka have been instrumental to the team's success to start the season. Through eight games, Lowry is averaging 21.8 points, 6.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds, doing so on 47.8 percent shooting from the field and 42.6 percent from 3-point range. He has already scored 20 or more points six times after having 15 such games all of last season.
Ibaka, meanwhile, has picked up from where he left off last season with averages of 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in 22.9 minutes per game. He's been the only player off the Raptors bench who has been able to make a consistent impact.
Without them, the Raptors will lean even more on Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Chris Boucher. They will also lean on Pascal Siakam, although it'll be interesting to see how much more he can possibly do. He already has one of the higher usage ratings in the league and he's averaging 27.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Siakam is going to have his work cut out for him as he faces off against some of the best players in the league in the coming week, from LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard to Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard.
The Lakers enter Sunday's game on a seven-game winning streak, the best in the league. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both been spectacular since the team's loss to the LA Clippers on opening night, and the Lakers have been getting contributions out of a number of role players, such as Avery Bradley, Danny Green and even Dwight Howard.
Howard, in particular, has been a revelation. He is averaging career-lows with 6.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, but the Lakers have a far superior team with him on the court. According to NBA.com, they are currently outscoring opponents by 17.7 points per 100 possessions with him in the lineup. He's not posting-up nearly as much in his second go-around with the Lakers, sticking instead to what he does best - attacking the offensive glass and making himself a huge target at the rim.
The former bodes well for Howard against the Raptors, as they are currently giving up a league-leading 13.0 offensive rebounds per game to their opponents.
Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka are out for the Raptors, as is Patrick McCaw.
Rajon Rondo was listed as questionable for the Lakers as of Saturday night, but Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports reports that he is no longer expected to make his season debut against the Raptors.
- Anthony Davis is averaging 3.0 blocks per game. The only player in the league averaging more is Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (3.1).
- The Lakers are allowing only 94.1 points per 100 possessions with Davis on the court.
- LeBron James is leading the league with a career-high 10.5 assists per game.
- James scored 25 points in the Lakers' win over the Miami Heat on Friday. He's now one of three players in NBA history with 1,000 career 20-point games in the regular season.
- Pascal Siakam is coming off of a historic game himself. With 44 points and 10 rebounds, he's now one of only three players to have multiple career 40-10 games in a Raptors uniform, joining DeMar DeRozan, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh.
- The Raptors actually have a higher net rating with Kyle Lowry off the court (+12.3) than they do with him on the court (+4.4) so far this season. The Raptors are by no means better with Lowry on the bench, but it'll be interesting to see if they can stay afloat without him.
- Serge Ibaka currently ranks eighth among bench players in scoring. The Raptors will face two of the players ahead of him on this road trip in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.
- Ibaka's best game last season came against the Lakers in Los Angeles. He scored a season-high 34 points on 15-for-17 shooting from the field.
Last Time They Played
Date: March 14, 2019
Score: Raptors 111, Lakers 98
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard - 25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Lakers: LeBron James - 29 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal