(Photo By: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Lakers at Raptors: 3 Things to Know (1/28/18)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers aim for their fifth straight win versus the Toronto Raptors.
1) Ingram did it all in Chicago
For the last two years, coach Luke Walton has preached to Brandon Ingram on the importance on using all of his skills to affect the game.
Even when Ingram has piled up his individual scoring, Walton has maintained that the Lakers have the best chance to win when he is involved in all facets of the game.
That do-it-all approach was on full display in Chicago on Friday, as the 20-year-old led his team in scoring (25), rebounds (nine) and assists (five).
Ingram was also clutch in a tight game, scoring 10 points in the final quarter.
He was most effective in transition, starting fast-breaks with good defense and rebounding, then finishing them on his own or by finding an open teammate.
Brandon Ingram was out there making plays in transition.— Joey Ramirez (@JoeyARamirez) January 27, 2018
Uses that 7'3" wingspan to tap the rebound to himself and immediately fires the outlet assist. pic.twitter.com/UX9owTPZWm
2) JC continues to give the Lakers a needed spark
The common thread in the Lakers’ four-game winning streak has been the stellar play of Jordan Clarkson, who is averaging 25.8 points and 6.3 assists while shooting 57.1 percent during this run.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Clarkson’s success has been how effective he has been despite shooting just 2-of-14 on 3-pointers in his last three games.
With his range mitigated, Clarkson has done an excellent job of attacking the heart of the defense, getting to the rim both in the half court and in transition.
The combo guard also has his trademark pull-up jumper, which has been money during his team’s surge.
With Clarkson guiding the way (and the likes of Ingram and Alex Caruso stepping up), the Lakers have been able to keep the offense flowing in the absence of Lonzo Ball (sore knee).
3) Toronto is for real
The Raptors are the only team ranked among the NBA’s top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
Of course, it all starts with the All-Star backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
DeRozan has elevated his game this season, adding a refined 3-point shot and improved passing to an already impressive arsenal.
The Compton native is one of the league’s best at slashing to the basket (and getting to the free throw line), as the Lakers will have a hard time containing the NBA’s ninth-leading scorer.
Meanwhile, Lowry prefers to let it fly from 3-point range, while also serving as the offense’s director and taking his rebounding to a career-high.
The Raptors will be an especially tough challenge on their home floor, where their 17-4 record is second-best in the NBA.
Lakers: Lonzo Ball (sore left knee) is out.
Tip-Off: 3 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Unis: Gold Icon
Location: Air Canada Centre — Toronto, Ontario