The west coast trip continues for the Toronto Raptors as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena.
Toronto is currently 2-1 on this six-game road trip, which is a solid start for a team incorporating two new starters. Coming off a dominant win against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, the Raptors look to build upon that performance.
Despite the Raptors being up and down the past couple of seasons, they have owned the Lakers when it comes to the season series. After the 2019-20 season, Toronto won 11 straight matchups against L.A., but they have alternated wins and losses the past three seasons.
While the Lakers have had their struggles, the purple and gold are coming off a significant win against the Los Angeles Clippers. Coming off a win of that magnitude, expect a much more confident L.A. team heading into today’s matchup.
Same goes for Toronto, as they look like a brand new team since the O.G. Anunoby trade. Acquiring Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett has added another dimension to their offense, as the Raptors are shooting 41% from 3 since the trade. Which will be key against the Lakers, as they struggle to contain the 3-point line.
However, Jakob Poeltl is out for tonight’s game with a sprained ankle, which is a massive blow as he is greatly needed to matchup against Anthony Davis. Head coach Darko Rajakovic is going to have to get creative with his coverages on Davis, to prevent him from getting going offensively.
The Lakers are nearly healthy as Rui Hachimura and Gabe Vincent are the two players that are out, but getting D’Angelo Russell back has been a big boost. He hurt the Raptors in last matchup on Mar. 10, scoring 28 points.
As the Raptors have improved offensively, the biggest key is to prevent L.A. from getting downhill and from dominating the paint. Turing the Lakers into a 3-point shooting team may benefit Toronto in the long run.
Toronto Raptors (15-21) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (18-19)
10:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
Projected Raptors Starting Lineup:
PG: Immanuel Quickley
SG: RJ Barrett
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Chris Boucher
Key Reserves: Dennis Schroder, Gary Trent Jr., Jontay Porter
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Austin Reaves
SG: Taurean Prince
SF: Cam Reddish
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Christian Wood, Max Christie
Have you subscribed to the Raptors Nation YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!