Preview: Toronto Raptors vs Los Angeles Lakers – April 6th, 2021

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors will face the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Los Angeles is fifth in the Western Conference with a 31-19 record. They have only the 22nd-best offence in the NBA, averaging 110.5 points-per-game. Their true strength comes on the defensive end of the court, where they allow the second-fewest points-per-game in the league at 105.9.

LeBron James leads the Lakers in scoring with 25.4 points-per-game. Superstar partner Anthony Davis averages 22.5 points-per-game and 8.3 rebounds, rounding out arguably the most lethal one-two punch in the league when they’re on the court together.

The issue with Los Angeles is that their two stars have been out for much of the season; Davis has been sidelined with a calf injury since Feb. 14, while James was given a four-to-six week return timeline after suffering an ankle sprain on March 20. Head coach Frank Vogel has turned to the likes of Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma to carry the team through this tough period.

The Lakers might present a mismatch for the Raptors, as their size spread out throughout their deep lineup can overwhelm the smaller Raptors. Los Angeles is strong on the glass, grabbing 45.3 rebounds-per-game, good enough for ninth in the league. Toronto – yes, I must remind you – is last in the league in that category.

Tuesday’s contest will also be a reunion for the Raptors and Marc Gasol, who signed with the Lakers in free agency this past offseason. The center from Barcelona was an important piece of Toronto’s championship run in 2019.

Catch tip-off between the last two NBA champions at 7:30 PM EST on TSN.

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