Game 69 LA Lakers vs Toronto Raptors: Jeremy Lin To Start, Kyle Lowry Will Rest Ankle
The Raptors struggled in the second night of back to back game and lost 101-126 to Cleveland Cavaliers, giving up 44% 3-point shooting (18-41) to the Cavs. Even worse, injuries took its toll as Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, and Pascal Siakam had some form of injuries during the game. Kyle had a sprained ankle but might play. Ibaka got 3-game suspension for fighting with Marquese Chriss.
Lin still struggled from 3-point line shooting 1-5, not looking comfortable making open 3-point shots but drained a long buzzer-beater 3 at the end of the 1st quarter. It is possible that when he did not have to think much, his shooting mechanic is fine. We can only hope that Lin can overcome the shooting slump quickly in the remaining 14 games so he might have a bigger role in the playoff when his 3-point shooting is not a liability. It will also help to create more space for him to attack the rim when defense has to chase him at the 3-point line.
In a post-practice interview, Coach Nurse said Gasol and Lin arrival have given the Raptors more confidence and swagger.
Nurse said the Raptors feel more confident since picking up Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin: "I just think that we think we’re better and we’ve got a sense of a little bit more confidence and swagger about who we are, about our versatility and a couple other things," Nurse said.
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) March 13, 2019
Lakers vs Cavs Preview
The Raptors, meanwhile, were drubbed 126-101 by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday and lost Serge Ibaka to a three-game suspension for a fight during the game that resulted in his ejection.
Toronto also emerged from the game with what seem to be minor injuries to players such as Kyle Lowry (ankle), Danny Green (ankle) and Pascal Siakam (neck and shoulder).
“We had a lot of bumps and bruises (Monday),” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “It was a rough one. Testament to them they played really hard. Couple ankle tweaks. Couple hand injuries, Pascal’s shoulder injury. We’ll see how it goes.”
“I think I should be all right,” Siakam told the Toronto Sun. “Just ice it a little bit. Get some rest and I’ll be good.”
Nurse said Wednesday that he felt both Lowry and Green could play Thursday.
Raptors Sign Eric Moreland to 10-Day Contract
With Ibaka 3-game suspension, the Raptors signed Eric Moreland as the big man expected to play with the 2nd unit as Marc Gasol becomes the starting center. Moreland can finish strong at the rim so it will be interesting to see if Lin can feed him close at the rim in the next 3 games.
Moreland was in training camp with the Raptors and gives them another big while Ibaka's out. 10-day allows them to maintain flexibility. https://t.co/ibWFOZtnZw
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 13, 2019
Credit to @PeteB who posted Eric Moreland video showing what he can do.