Even though the Lakers lost a frustrating game to the Raptors on Sunday night, there is plenty of optimism surrounding the season. Off to their best start since the 2010-11 season, the Lakers are riding high on the back of strong play from their duo of superstars – Anthony Davis & LeBron James.
James struggled in the scoring department against the Raptors but was still able to put together a solid night, adding 15 assists and 13 rebounds to his 13 points. Forwards Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby did a good job combining to limit James’ effectiveness around the hoop – leading James to share some funny words with Siakam after he was called for a foul on The King.
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LeBron James Jokes With Pascal Siakam in Lakers’ Loss to Raptors
Immediately after the foul call, James makes a beeline over to Siakam and says something along the lines of “Don’t you motherfu**in lie to me, Pascal” before both men would break out in laughter. While the camera was facing the back of Siakam’s head and we don’t know exactly how he responded, it would seem that Spicy P was trying to defend his actions and the foul call.
Winner of Most Improved Player last season and experiencing an incredible start to his 2019-20 season, Siakam is emerging into one of the league’s brightest young stars. Stepping in to fill the void left by Kawhi Leonard‘s departure, Spicy P has helped to not only keep Toronto afloat but keep them in the race as a top contender in the Eastern Conference.
Lakers Blow First Half Lead Against Toronto Raptors
After a strong start to their game against the Raptors, the Lakers fell apart in the second half. Featuring a third quarter that saw the offense go quiet followed by a dismal defensive showing in the fourth, the Lakers squandered a solid eight-point lead at the half. Outscored 26-18 in the third quarter and 35-36 in the fourth, the Lakers desperately needed some stronger play down the stretch from both the bench unit as well as the closing lineup.
All in all, the Lakers had previously won seven straight games and given how the majority of the team is still figuring out their role, losses like this can be expected in the early going. Despite losing Leonard and Danny Green, the Raptors are a deep and talented team with tons of cohesion carrying over from last season. That was evident down the stretch and showed that despite the Lakers’ excellent start to the season so far, they still have plenty of room to improve.
Anthony Davis had another strong offensive performance and seems to be getting more and more comfortable playing alongside James. His shot is finally starting to fall again and should that turn into a consistent weapon for him, he would become a nearly unstoppable offensive force. Shooting only 28% from deep so far, a consistent outside shot has long been the only missing piece in Davis’ offensive arsenal.