Lakers To Keep It Interesting Against Fast Paced Raptors

Charles Stark

Sunday, January 1, 2017 2:46 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 2:46 PM UTC

The last time the Toronto Raptors met with the Los Angeles Lakers it was no contest as Toronto throttled them by 30 points. They meet again today in Los Angeles, can the Lakers step up today?

Los Angeles Lakers

In the first matchup versus Toronto Los Angeles shot about as poorly as you possibly can at only 34.4% from the floor and 23% from distance. What I like about backing them today is the fact that although they didn’t shoot well in that game they did get up 93 attempts and Toronto likes to go at a pace that the Lakers are comfortable with. On the season Los Angeles is averaging 103.9 points per game while shooting 44.6% from the floor. Their offensive statistics overall are not bad and they rank in about the middle of the league in most percentage categories. Defensively they have been atrocious and are allowing opponents to shoot 47.9% from the floor which ranks last in the league. Across the board statistically they rank in the bottom three in every major defensive category. All that being said though, Toronto has revamped their team into one that really likes to get up and down the floor which is tailor-made for this Los Angeles club. Although I’m hard-pressed to believe they can beat Toronto I do believe they can stay within the number.

 Toronto Raptors

Toronto has lost two games in a row and look to get back on track tonight against the lowly Lakers. This is a completely different team from last year, not personnel wise, but how they push tempo. The Raptors are averaging 110.8 points per game which ranks third in the NBA. They have gone a lot smaller this season to get up and down the floor and it has paid off offensively as they are shooting 38.9% from distance and 47% overall ranking them third and fifth in the NBA respectively. However, with that change has come a lack of defense and Toronto is currently allowing opponents to shoot 45.3% from the floor and 50.5% on opponent two point shots which ranks them 18th and 25th in the NBA respectively. That is the thrust of this play tonight as I like for this tempo to favor Los Angeles staying within the number. Look for a lot of points but for the Lakers to actually make this game pretty interesting.

 NBA Odds

Oddsmakers have come out making Los Angeles a +8.5 underdog and for my NBA pick, I will back them at that number. This should be a fast-paced game in which I believe the Lakers will make pretty interesting and possibly give Toronto a bit more than they are anticipating.

 Free NBA Pick: Lakers +8.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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