Three Things to Know Lakers vRaptor3-10-23
วันที่วางจำหน่าย:2023-03-12    ผู้เขียน:    เรียกดู:

The Lakers (32-34) look to build on their momentum and continue their push for the postseason when the Raptors (32-35) come to town. The game tips off at 7:30 pm PT on Spectrum SportsNet, NBA TV, and 710 ESPN Radio.

Below are three things to know about the matchup:

After spraining his ankle vs. the Warriors on February 23rd, DAngelo Russell is listed as probable vs. the Raptors and is expected to play, per Darvin Ham:

It is not yet known if Russell will have a minutes restriction, but easing him back into things would have merit, even if he is returning to the lineup as a starter.

The Lakers went 4-2 in the six games that Russell missed, with several players stepping up their offensive production in his absence. Even with Russells return, the Lakers will still look for Austin Reaves, Troy Brown, and Dennis Schröder to remain aggressive and continue their strong play to help boost the offense.

While Russell makes his return from his ankle injury,the team announcedthat Mo Bamba will miss at least the next four weeks with a high ankle sprain. Bamba was injured in the first half of Sundays win over Golden State and subsequently missed Tuesdays win over Memphis.

Without Bamba, Wenyen Gabriel is likely to get a more prominent place in the rotation as a backup big, a role hes filled admirably throughout the season.

Since February 10th (the day after the trade deadline), the Lakers boast the NBAs top defense, surrendering 107.6 points per 100 possessions. As a point of reference, the Cavs season-long best defense surrenders 109.4 points per 100 possessions.

A key driver of the Lakers recent success comes from the teams starting group of Dennis Schröder, Malik Beasley, Troy Brown Jr., Jarred Vanderbilt, and Anthony Davis who have posted a defensive rating of 95.6 over this stretch. And when you isolate AD, Brown Jr., and Vanderbilt as a trio, those numbers improve to 93.2 whenever they share the floor.

With Davis anchoring the back line and protecting the paint, Brown chasing around perimeter talents, and Vanderbilt switching between top ball-handlers, big wings and offensively focused forwards, this group offers the type of size, versatility, and instincts that can give many different types of offenses trouble.

Relying on AD to have their backs at the rim, both Vanderbilt and Brown Jr. thrive on pressuring the ball up high and jumping passing lanes, creating deflections and steals that can not only disrupt what opposing offenses are trying to do, but create fast break chances for themselves.

The Raptors are closing out a five-game road trip vs. the Lakers, and are surely hoping to salvage things with a win after a string of tough games. They are currently 1-3 on the trip -- including back-to-back losses vs. the Nuggets and Clippers -- with their lone win coming in overtime against the Wizards.

Both the Lakers and the Raptors are different teams than when they met back in early December -- a game that we cant really take a lot away from due to who played and who didnt. Both LeBron and AD sat out that game with injury/illness, and the Raptors won handily by attacking the paint, getting offensive rebounds, and forcing turnovers.

Since then, we know the Lakers have remade their roster, but Toronto also made a significant acquisition when they traded for former Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl last month. Poeltl has given the Raptors an added dimension on both sides of the floor, scoring efficiently in the paint and attacking the backboards on both ends with force.

With Poeltl in the mix next to their bevy of big wings, the Lakers will have their hands full on both ends of the floor, but particularly in protecting their own paint while also trying to score inside theirs. Much like the Lakers, the Raptors are built to pressure the ball and swarm inside, forcing teams to make quick decisions and accurate decisions with the ball, or be induced into turnovers.

With that, the onus is not only on Anthony Davis to deal with more defensive pressure and from different angles that hes seen in different games, but for the teams perimeter players to make the defense pay by hitting their outside shots in the hopes of creating more space for Davis to operate.

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