Los Angeles Lakers: Why the Raptors are the perfect second opponent

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(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers

1. It will help us gauge the Los Angeles Lakers’ perimeter defense

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their starting point guard and one of their most important defensive players in Avery Bradley. Bradley opted not to re-join the Lakers in the bubble, citing the health and safety of his family (and more power to him!).

That has left a hole on the Lakers roster and has exposed some flaws in the team’s defense, particularly at the perimeter. The Lakers played horrible perimeter defense in the scrimmages, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope not living up to Bradley’s defense, and were not great against the Clippers.

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The Clippers made 44.4 percent of their three-point attempts, going 16 for 36 from beyond the arc. Luckily, it did not come back to burn the Lakers, but if this continues, it will become a concern.

The Lakers are tasked with playing one of the best three-point shooting teams in the entire league in the Toronto Raptors, which will give us a good gauge in how they hold up on the perimeter.

Toronto has the sixth-best three-point percentage in the league — 37.1 percent — and attempt the seventh-most threes per game.

The Raptors have six players who all shoot 38 percent or better from beyond the arc with at least three attempts per game. Kyle Lowry is shooting 35.4 percent, but he attempts 8.4 threes per game and can get hot, especially against poor perimeter defense.

This will be a good litmus test for the Lakers and will help the team improve for the playoffs.

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