• The Lakers left for Toronto red-hot but cooled off on the way, coming out ice-cold Sunday afternoon and eventually falling to the Raptors 123-111 — a score that does not actually reflect the blowout nature of the game.

    Los Angeles had won four games in a row and eight of 10; however, they had lost six consecutive games in Toronto. One streak had to give and unfortunately for the Lakers, it was the positive one.

    The main reason for their recent improved play had been their defense; the Lakers had given up only 102 points per game during their successful stint after giving up 118 points per game during their preceding nine-game losing streak. They gave up 123 points in this contest, primarily due to their inability to contain dribble penetration or control the glass.

    The Lakers were cold from the onset, shooting just 8-of-27 (29.6 percent) from the field in the first quarter, leading to a seven-point deficit at the end of the frame.

    Los Angeles started the second quarter on a bit of a run, drawing to within four at 31-27. Then Fred VanVleet took over with 12 points, two assists and one steal in only eight minutes, sparking a 16-5 run to extend the Raptor lead to 15.

    The Lakers fought back to the best of their ability, drawing to within 59-49 at the half, primarily on the efforts of Julius Randle. Randle was really the only Laker to play well early on, finishing the half with a 13-point, 10-rebound and four-assist double-double. He was held in check in the second half, ending the game with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

    Los Angeles drew within five points at 67-62 in the third quarter before the Raptors pulled away with an 18-8 run. All-Star starter DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors in the period with 12 points and three assists.

    The game was never in question the rest of the way on a day when the Lakers simply could not knock down their shots, play defense or rebound.

    Toronto had seven players in double-digits and multiple strong performances on Sunday, none were more important than the efficient VanVleet who tallied a career-high 25 points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from 3-point range and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

    Starting point guard and All-Star reserve Kyle Lowry compiled a nice double-double through three quarters with 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal.

    The Lakers second best player on the night may have been Alex Caruso, who continued his strong play off the bench with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds, one steal and one block. He was the only meaningful player with a positive rating for the game (plus-4) and provided one of few highlights for Laker fans, dunking two-handed during the second quarter.

    Kyle Kuzma was one of many Lakers to struggle on the evening, finishing the game with only seven points, four rebounds and one steal. He did however have one spectacular dunk on former Utah teammate Jakob Poeltl.

    Larry Nance Jr. played a decent game with 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals while knocking down 7-of-8 from the field.

    Brandon Ingram really needed to step up for the Lakers to upset the Raptors but was unable to do so, totaling 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block, but shooting only 4-of-14 from the field and only 5-of-9 from the line.

    The Lakers let their poor shooting affect their effort on the defensive end and on the glass on Sunday. They stopped moving the ball and were lacking energy on both ends of the court. They will stay in Toronto for two days in order to rest, practice, heal up and prepare for their next game on Wednesday.

    Key Stats and Observations

    • The Lakers came into the game leading the league in points in the paint with 53.3 points in the paint per game, as well as 57.5 points in the paint during their four-game win streak. They were tied with the Raptors at 26 points in the paint at the half but were demolished in the third quarter to the tune of 22-4. For the game the Raptors outscored the Lakers 62-44 in the paint.
    • Los Angeles was annihilated on the glass, losing the battle 53-44 for the game. Like the final score, that final statistic does not accurately reflect Toronto’s rebounding domination as they went into the garbage-time fourth quarter with a 46-33 lead.
    • The Lakers led the league in fast break points during their win streak with 23.2 points per game. The Raptors were able to contain the Lakers’ break, outscoring them 16-8 in the open court.
    • Another metric that had favored Los Angeles going into tonight’s game had been opponents’ field goal percentage (43 percent over last 10 games). Tonight they were unable to continue their prolific defense, allowing Toronto to shoot 46-of-92 for 50.0 percent. Conversely, the Lakers’ shooting was off all night as they converted only 40-of-92 for 43.5 percent and 8-of-26 from 3-point range (30.8 percent).
    • As usual the Lakers were unable to make their free throws as they shot only 23-of-33 from the line (69.7 percent) vs. 19-of-25 (76.0 percent) for the Raptors.

    Up Next

    The Lakers head to Orlando to take on the Magic on Wednesday.

    Orlando is led by high-flying act Aaron Gordon who is having a breakout season, averaging 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 3-pointers per game.

    Los Angeles is still likely to be without starting point guard Lonzo Ball who is recovering from a sprained MCL in his knee. While he has been able to start shooting and do some training, he is still unable to perform any lateral movements, the tell-tale sign of an injured MCL. The upcoming two days of practice will be crucial for determining his availability for Wednesday.

    The Lakers will be hoping Ball is up to speed sooner rather than later as backup point guard Tyler Ennis is struggling to hold down the fort. Ennis had just three points, two rebounds and two steals while playing in front of his family in Toronto.

Fantasy News

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Rockets guard Eric Gordon has improved his diet, focused on sprints, and has apparently shed 12 pounds in the process, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

    Gordon has battled knee ailments for essentially his whole career and has dealt with his fair share of nagging injuries this season as well. Losing weight to create a lighter frame would seem sensible, especially with the knee issues. The Rockets, remember, fully adopted the "small ball" lineup and move fast so Gordon is smart to keep his endurance and fitness at high levels. He's going to have to play well and make shots for the Rockets when the NBA returns to action, otherwise coach Mike D'Antoni won't be able to justify giving Gordon minutes. We don't anticipate much fantasy value out of him if and when the league starts back up.

    Source: The Athletic

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the NBA is planning for a Board of Governors vote on Thursday, during which they are expected to approve Adam Silver's proposal for re-starting the season in Orlando.

    The trend lines are all moving in this direction, and this adds another bullet point on the schedule as the league prepares for launching games on July 31. Adam Silver has been able to bridge any divides between ownership and the players, and has been taking into account all his key constituent's views as we approach approval of a plan for moving forward. We still have plenty of items to resolve before we see game action, but the NBA is gaining momentum as these details come into place.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Bradley Beal
    SG, Washington Wizards

    On Friday, the Wizards resumed holding voluntary workouts at their practice facilities.

    The Wizards have joined a chorus of teams that are returning in limited capacities to their facilities at this point. The NBA as a whole is continuing its march towards the resumption of play with a target date of July 31 now established. The District of Columbia also entered phase one of reopening today, and it makes sense for the team to proceed on a similar trajectory.

    Source: Candace Buckner on Twitter

  • Julius Randle
    PF, New York Knicks

    Part of the Knicks' off-season thinking is to shape the roster around RJ Barrett, and it unclear where Julius Randle will fit in those plans.

    Barrett and Randle have similar offensive styles, as they typically have an advantage relying upon their strength to attack the basket, but neither has a component deep ball at this stage in their careers. As Barrett is the younger option it makes sense that the Knicks want to sign shooters to give him more space to operate with. Randle's lousy percentages and turnovers has made for a disappointing season with the Knicks thus far, and Barrett will also need to make some strides in the shooting department to become a 12-team asset. Randle is under contract for next season is owed at least $4,000,000 in 2021-22.

    Source: https://www.sny.tv/knicks/news/heres-who-knicks-could-target-as-leon-roses-front-office-reshapes-roster/313481746

  • Jayson Tatum
    SF, Boston Celtics

    On Friday, the Celtics' announced that their practice facilities would reopen on June 1.

    That leaves us with four NBA teams without access to their facilities. Things are beginning to accelerate throughout the league as teams ramp up activities in hopes of resuming competition in Orlando on July 31. So far so good, but the NBA still has many hurdles to overcome on the path to resuming the season.

    Source: Celtics PR on Twitter

  • RJ Barrett
    SF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks reopened their practice facility for voluntary workouts on Friday.

    Another step in the right direction for the NBA's return to action at the end of July. It's still unclear if the Knicks will even be involved in whatever plan is agreed upon, but it is good to learn that the players can now access their facilities in New York. Only five team facilities have not opened up in some capacity at this point.

    Source: Knicks PR on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    On a call with the Board of Governors on Friday, Adam Silver and the league office confirmed July 31 as a target date for the resumption of the NBA season, according to a report from Shams Charania.

    We have to imagine that this is just one of the possible options on the table, as the league still has much to figure out. Charania adds that the league has four scenarios for the return: 16 teams move directly to the playoffs, 20 teams engage in group/stage play, 22 teams have games to determine seeding with a play-in tournament, and all 30 teams reconvene for a 72-game season with a play-in tournament. It's seemed unlikely that we'll have a full 30-team return given the stated priorities for player safety. There are still tons of logistical hurdles to clear but the NBA is getting its ducks in a row for a potential return.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Andre Iguodala
    SF, Miami Heat

    Andre Iguodala returned to South Florida after living in California since the NBA season was suspended.

    Iguodala returning to the market where his team is could mean that he believes team workouts will begin soon. However, there is no official timetable on when team workouts will begin and Jimmy Butler has yet to return to Miami.

    Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter

  • Zach LaVine
    SG, Chicago Bulls

    K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were cleared by the Governor of Illinois and are in talks with city officials to open practice facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts that would follow the NBA guidelines.

    The NBA's guidelines currently state that a maximum of four players are allowed in the facility at any given time and there can only be one player per hoop. The Bulls are currently eight games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls may not play again this season given how far behind they are in the standings and the recent reports of proposals to not continue the regular season.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Luka Doncic
    PG-SF, Dallas Mavericks

    Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported that the Mavs plan to open their practice facility on Thursday.

    This news would make the Mavs the 23rd team to have their facilities open for "voluntary and socially distanced player workouts". Continue to monitor the wire as we should learn more about the potential of the league resuming in early June.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter