The LA Lakers will be looking for vindication when they come up against the Toronto Raptors at Amalie Arena on Tuesday night. The two teams enter this contest on the back of contrasting results in their previous matchups.
Fixture: LA Lakers vs Toronto Raptors | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, April 6th, 7:30 PM ET (Wednesday, 5 AM IST)
Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers' hit a speed bump on their road trip on Sunday when they were ragdolled by the LA Clippers at Staples Center. Frank Vogel's unit has a tough stretch of games coming up against the likes of Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets, but their upcoming matchup against the Toronto Raptors will give them a chance to regroup.
Montrezl Harrell has been doing the bulk of the work underneath the rim with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis weeks away from a return. Harrell has showcased improvements on the defensive end while averaging 17.6 points and 8.8 rebounds in the last 10 games for the LA Lakers.
Talen Horton-Tucker is also getting increased minutes in the absence of the LA Lakers' talismanic duo but has blown hot and cold on offense. Horton-Tucker had 16 and 15 points respectively in his last two games but managed a combined seven in the two prior to that. He's been fairly consistent as a defender though, especially on the perimeter.
Key Player - Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder has been the LA Lakers' leader on both ends of the court lately. He's the primary ball-handler, mid-range assassin and lockdown defender for the team. Schroder had a forgetful outing against the LA Clippers, but he averaged 19 points, eight assists, four rebounds and 2.8 steals in five games prior to Sunday. He has the needed skills to bounce back against the Toronto Raptors.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
G Dennis Schroder, G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F Kyle Kuzma, F Markieff Morris, C Marc Gasol
Toronto Raptors Preview
After a perilous March where they lost 13 of their 14 matchups, the Toronto Raptors are in a position to breathe a sigh of relief. They decimated the Golden State Warriors by 53 points on Friday and followed it up with a last-gasp win against the Washington Wizards yesterday. They are now just one game behind the 10th spot in the East.
Trade acquisition Gary Trent Jr. has been in fine form of late. He's averaged 21.5 points in the last four games for the Toronto Raptors on 50% shooting from the field and scored the game-winning buzzer-beater against the Wizards.
OG Anunoby has also been impressive on both ends of the court for the Toronto Raptors, averaging 18.4 points and seven rebounds in the last five games. He'll be relied upon heavily, with both Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry questionable to play against LA Lakers.
Key Player - Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam had a turbulent few weeks where he struggled with COVID, failed to impact proceedings on the court and even had a public fallout with head coach Nick Nurse. Siakam's finally turning things around though. He had 36 points and 14 rebounds against the Warriors, and he followed it up with another 22 point outing against the Wizards.
Siakam's finally showcasing the physicality that is associated with his game and should be able to lead the Toronto Raptors' cause against the LA Lakers.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
G DeAndre' Bembry, G Gary Trent Jr., F OG Anunoby, F Pascal Siakam, C Chris Boucher
Lakers vs Raptors Match Prediction
With both LA Lakers and Toronto Raptors suffering from key injuries, this could be a close affair. However, Frank Vogel's men are well-rested and have learned to play together in the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Raptors are a try-hard team, but not every franchise will allow them a way back from a 19-point deficit like the Wizards did. Expect the Lakers to win this tie.
Where to watch Lakers vs Raptors?
Local coverage of this matchup will be available on Spectrum SportsNet. It will be telecast in Canada on TSN. You can also live stream this game via the NBA League Pass.