Serge Ibaka just did something that hadn’t happened since Wilt Chamberlain in 1967. He finished the game against the Suns with 4 consecutive shots and continued against the Lakers with 14 making it a total of 18 straight shots made. No other NBA player had such a long streak except Wilt.
The Raptors have been the best team in the East since the season started but few expected them to trash the Lakers the way they did taking into account Kawhi was sitting this game out. Out of nowhere came Serge Ibaka with 34 points (15 – 17 FG), 2 assists, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals. He also continued the trend of putting up monster numbers in ridiculously low minutes and only played 29 minutes.
Ibaka had a complete performance, scoring from the paint, the elbow and behind the arc. Like all big men, he evolved into a big with range, and the Lakers didn’t have an answer for him. This was most obvious in transition when the Raptors got everything they wanted against the LA team.
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Not to take anything away from Ibaka and his fantastic performance, but the fact this happened against the Lakers is a factor worth mentioning. The Lakers roster is lacking defensive stoppers, and the inexperience of the young players was evident in this game. Defense takes time, but also skill, basketball IQ and effort; all areas the Lakers have much to improve. The most significant indicator of this is the record the Lakers set tonight (remember, not all records are necessarily a good thing), with 2:21 to go in the first quarter the score was 41:10 for the Raptors making it the biggest first-quarter deficit in franchise history.
With such a fantastic start to the seasons, the Raptors are putting the league on notice. Make sure you are free on Frida, November 30th; The Warriors are coming to Toronto.