The Los Angeles Lakers were in freefall mode without star duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Even with them back now, they have remained in that same sad state. Sunday was more evidence for that as they fell to the Toronto Raptors, a team that is 12 games under .500, making it six losses in their last seven games. That might not seem like a huge deal given how well they started the season, but it’s a big deal because the defeat leaves them at 36-28. That’s tied with seventh-placed Portland on record, putting them in serious danger of having to deal with a play-in game when the regular season wraps up in a couple of weeks’ time.
The 121-114 loss to the Raptors saw Davis and James play a combined 61 minutes and contribute a total of 31 points to the cause. To put that into perspective, both Pascal Siakam (39) and Kyle Lowry (37) had more as individuals, showing just how big of a struggle it’s been and is for the Lakers currently. Many have said they don’t even look like a playoff team as things stand, and they aren’t really wrong. LeBron, of course, isn’t happy with the play-in system, but that has more to do with the fact the team’s struggling than anything. Whatever your feelings are on that issue, the whole team is definitely in a slump and it’s not a good time to be in it as they try to defend their title from last season. The Raptors, meanwhile, are still trying to keep their hopes alive, sitting two and a half games outside the top ten in the Eastern Conference.