Los Angeles tasked with subuding Toronto
Toronto remains in the midst of a particularly arduous road trip. But are things about to brighten up considerably for Dwane Casey’s crew?
Tonight, the Raptors (22-10) grapple with the increasingly despondent Lakers. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the visitors odds of -400 to emerge victorious. Conversely, Los Angeles represents a +300 underdog.
DeMar DeRozan & Co. won’t return home again until Jan. 5. Nonetheless, the NBA’s sixth-leading scorer helped power his club to a 10-4 record last month. Most recently, DeRozan racked up 24 points in a 99-91 loss to Phoenix.
Meanwhile, the Lakers (12-24) continue their free fall. After a promising start, Luke Walton’s bunch has dropped 14 of 16. Even D’Angelo Russell can’t navigate his way out of the muck. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft is shooting just 35.8 percent since Dec. 11.
Taking into account Los Angeles’ defensive woes, it’s pretty easy to envision Toronto breaking the 110-point barrier here. But there’s one person in the purple and gold to whom the Raptors should pay special attention. Power forward Julius Randle boasts double-doubles in six of the past 18 contests, serving notice to the rest of the league that he’s serious about making that proverbial leap in Year 3.
SUNDAY NBA FREE PICK: RAPTORS/LAKERS OVER 219 POINTS