The Raptors exposed a problem early in the game by packing the paint and forcing Anthony Davis to try to score from the perimeter. This defensive effort from the Raptors also forced the rest of the Lakers to try to score from the 3-point territory. Shots weren’t falling, and when you live and die by the 3-ball, it wasn’t pretty to say the least. Energy level was low for the Lakers in this one, which is probably due to having to use so much energy up in the previous game to hold on to the W vs the Clippers two nights prior. Sitting Javale McGee helped open spacing up throughout the floor, but again, if your shot isn’t falling, you’ve got no hope. One of the free agents that was brought to help fix the shooting plague was Danny Green, which by the way is MIA currently with his shooting struggles since coming to the Orlando bubble. In the second half the Lakers trailed by 13 and never really found a way back, and it doesn’t help that the Lakers went 5 minutes without a field goal. The Lakers bench was able to pull a Herculean effort to bring the Lakers to within 2, though when LeBron sat, the train wreck commenced again as the Lakers fell back down 107-92, and that was the kiss of death. Kyle Lowry played like this was game 7 of the NBA Finals and celebrated like it also(this game really didn’t mean that much in the grand scheme). What this game did though was offer good reps for the bench against a top tier team. This game continued to highlight the importance of getting the Lakers perimeter shooting back on track, and the need to not rely on LeBron as much for offensive production. While no-one is expecting 2016 Warriors level shooting from the Lakers, they do need to have reliable outside shooting when it matters to go along with the dribble penetration. LeBron never really got it going offensively in this game, one could argue that he is pacing himself for the hard push that the playoffs will require but nonetheless he had 5 assists and 4 turnovers with 20 points, so it was subpar by LeBron’s standards. Anthony Davis has just 1 point on 0-3 shooting in the first half, let that one sink in. He finished with 14 points, which for a guy that eats triple doubles for breakfast, calling this a subpar game is beyond an understatement.
One thing that Laker faithful can rest assured in – LeBron and Anthony Davis won’t duplicate this performance over the course of a 7 game series.