After beating the Los Angeles Clippers in their first game back, the Los Angeles Lakers were outplayed by the Toronto Raptors 92-107, who proved they are a legitimate title contender once again this season. The Raptors imposed their rhythm throughout the majority of the game, by being patient on offense while playing incredibly smart defense, always trapping players on the high post. They were able to hold both LeBron James and Anthony Davis to only 34 points, which was a massive reason for their win, and it was also the worst shooting performance Lakers had all season long as a team.
After the game, LeBron congratulated the Raptors on their win, saying the media should pay more attention to this team. Don't forget, the Raptors are the defending champs, who lost Kawhi but maintained their excellence because the core group remained the same, and the coaching staff does an excellent job.
The media may not give them as much credit because Kawhi is gone, but players know what type of team they are.
Interestingly enough, the Lakers and LeBron are having quite a negative streak against the Raptors. For the second straight season, LeBron is swept in a series against the Raptors, losing four consecutive games. That is quite a change from a few years back when LeBron would have some of his best games against the Raptors, regularly eliminating them from the playoffs.
The Lakers have an even worse record against the Raptors recently, losing 11 straight games. Interestingly enough, their last win against the Raptors dates back to November 30th, 2014, when they won in overtime behind the late great Kobe Bryant, who had a triple-double that game. After that win, the Lakers haven't found a way of beating the Raptors at all, and it seems the trend continues, even with LeBron, who is still one of the best players on this planet.
The Raptors are a team to look out for, and a great example of a squad that plays team basketball first, on defense and offense. They are well-coached, and people forget that they are still the defending champs who have a big chip on their shoulders of wanting to prove they are still a legitimate title contender.