The Toronto Raptors played the Los Angeles Lakers in LA on Sunday, and despite being without their star player, Kawhi Leonard, exacted the slightest bit of revenge on LeBron after last year's playoffs. And the year before's. And the year before that's.
So, although a regular-season game in November is of little impact in the big scheme of things, it had to have felt a little bit good for Kyle Lowry and CO.
Here are my takeaways from the 121-107 victory for the Raptors.
1. Serge Ibaka is Having His Best Season as a Raptor
After being acquired by the Raptors at the 2017 trade deadline, Serge Ibaka was expected to be the power forward that Toronto had needed since the departure of Chris Bosh, some seven years earlier.
He struggled in his first few months with the Raptors, from February to April 2017, and also in his first full season with the Raptors during the 2017-'18 season.
He has not struggled so far this season. So far, Serge has been good for 18.1 points and 7.6 rebounds, and in the matchup with the Lakers, scored a career-high 34 on 15-17 shooting.
2. Pascal Siakam is a Regular Starter
If you had any doubts about whether Raptors power forward, Pascal Siakam, was going to be starting regularly, his performance against LA should have squashed them. He recorded yet another double-double, with 16 points and 13 boards, highlighted by a big dunk over none other than the King himself, LeBron James.
After that performance, there is no one else better suited to start in that 4-spot. Give it to P Skills.
3. The Bench Mob is No More
Negative takeaway: the Bench Mob is no more. It's done. Jakob Poeltl is in San Antonio, Pascal is with the starters, Delon is just coming off an injury, and Norm and CJ are the definition of unreliable.
I love the 2017-'18 Bench Mob. I miss the 2017-'18 Bench Mob. I do not miss the 2017-'18 season. I'm looking forward.