The Los Angeles Lakers continue to sit atop the Western Conference standings after a convincing win against the Thunder. They continue to fight through adversity and were able to win despite the loss of Anthony Davis. The Cavaliers (12-27) are on the other side of the spectrum but have won their last two games. This will be the first meeting of the season between the teams with the Lakers holding a 63 to 51 edge. LeBron’s former team vs his current team. What should we expect?
The Cavaliers are ranked 28th in net rating, at -8.2. They are ranked 24th in offensive efficiency and 29th in defensive efficiency.
Cleveland is led by Collin Sexton in the scoring department at 18.7 per game, followed by disgruntled star, Kevin Love who is chipping in 16.9. Love has been playing well his past three games, scoring in double digits with at least nine rebounds. Obviously, he is a valuable player on a team that is six games out of the eighth seed. The Cavaliers have a younger team and Love’s discontent is well documented.
Darius Garland joins Sexton in the backcourt. The fifth overall pick of the recent NBA draft has been shooting 36.5 percent from beyond the arc and has flashed some playmaking ability.
The Lakers have won the last game without Anthony Davis and LeBron James behind 36 points from Kyle Kuzma and a strong performance from Rajon Rondo. Undoubtedly, that’s great to win without their two best players. Davis and Rondo will be questionable for tonight’s game. LeBron and Avery Bradley, who have flu-like symptoms, are both probable.
Obviously, the loss of Davis may be detrimental to the Lakers as his rim protection is invaluable. He is second in the league with 2.6 blocks per game. This could be a point of contention as the Cavaliers are shooting 59.9% within five feet.
Nevertheless, the Lakers have the size in JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. The Cavaliers have the aforementioned Love, but also Tristan Thompson who is having a career year in regard to points (13) and rebounds (10.6) per game.
If LeBron and Davis aren’t good to go, can Kuzma and the supporting staff keep it up? We’ll see tonight.
The Lakers and Cavaliers tip off at 7:30 p.m at Staples Center.
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