Lakers at Raptors Points Per Game: Calderon, Davis best players on floor; What’s up with the Lakers? The reffing remains a farce and Landry Fields continues to impress

- January 21st, 2013

While NBA refereeing is pretty predictable (stars and big-name teams get different calls than others), the outcome of NBA contests can often be quite unpredictable.

Take Sunday, for instance. How many people saw the Raptors upending the Lakers? Sure, L.A. is a mess right now, a discombobulated group of stars trying to form like Voltron into one, but the team still has Kobe, Nash, Gasol, Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard (at least for part of the game).

But credit the Raptors and especially Jose Calderon and Ed Davis for taking it to the Lakers. Yes, another huge lead was almost blown, but, in the end, it wasn’t quite and the Raptors gave their fans a treat for once.

Some thoughts:

Howard looks terrible. He’s still getting decent numbers (leading the NBA in rebounds) but he doesn’t look like the force he once was. Not defensively, and certainly not on offence down low.

The Raptors set some great screens early on and that was part of how they built up the big lead. Aaron Gray gave his teammates a lot of space out there and Calderon taught a master class in using screens to his advantage.

Davis continues to shine. Was strange not to see him in down the stretch, but he’s been gassed lately as he adapts to playing more minutes than he ever has before, and Dwane Casey said afterward that he was purposely managing the minutes of both Davis and a flu-battered Amir Johnson.

Landry Fields wouldn’t have been a Raptor if  Nash had said he had no interest in signing in Toronto (which doesn’t mean the Raptors didn’t have interest in Fields, they liked him all along, they just paid a premium to try to stop the Knicks from getting Nash). Fields is doing a lot of helpful little things. He’s rebounding, playing defence, moving without the ball and on Sunday, finally had a big offensive game (18 points).

The Lakers dressing room probably is my favourite in the league (aside from waiting forever for Bryant that is). Besides Kobe’s gems, you’ve got Nash, always a good interview. Gasol, an insightful gentleman who weighed in on his friends Calderon and Kyle Lowry (more on that later this week). And, of course, the former Ron Artest. He’s the best. I wish I had his scrum on video because it was a gem. He talked about Avatar, how positive energy cannot be broken, how nobody cares about basketball in Montreal, about how wrong he was in saying the Lakers would beat Chicago’s 72-win record, and about a dozen other topics. Too bad they only come to town once a year.

The Raptors get a chance to pull off another shocker in Miami against another dream team that started off slowly in Year 1. Good luck. Beating Orlando for the fourth time this season will be extremely difficult as well (not because Orlando is good, but because you don’t see season sweeps very often), so it’s a good thing the Raptors knocked off the Lakers to end a four-game losing streak.

Categories: Basketball, NBA, Toronto Raptors

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