January 14, 2014 — 4:00 PM (PST)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN
The Lakers (16-32) travel to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers (16-32) tonight.
Despite getting PG Steve Nash and PG Steve Blake back, they could not solve defensive deficiencies, allowing 109 points to the Timberwolves.
Nash, who played for the first time since November, played exceptionally well in his limited minutes, scoring 7 points and dishing out 9 assists. However, he will sit out tonight’s game since it’s a back-to-back.
To make matters worse, SG Jodie Meeks and F Jordan Hill left last night’s game due to injuries. Meeks, who will compete in the 3-pt contest during All-Star Weekend, suffered an ankle injury 2 minutes into the game and will miss the rest of this road trip.
Hill, who brings instant energy off the bench, suffered a cervical strain after colliding with his own teammate and his status for tonight’s game remains uncertain.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers’s fortune has not been much better under Mike Brown’s leadership despite having the Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng duo.
Deng, who was acquired from the Chicago Bulls last month, has averaged 16.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 3.2 APG while playing with the Cavaliers.
A future NBA superstar in the making, PG Kyrie Irving, seeks to lead the struggling Cavaliers into the playoff race. Irving, who averaged 21.7 PPG and 6.2 APG, has showed that he can hold his own against NBA’s elite guards and has even outplayed some of them at times. If Irving can learn how to lead the Cavaliers, no reason exists for them to not be successful.
PG – Kyrie Irving / Jordan Farmar [Advantage: Cavaliers]
SG – CJ Miles / Steve Blake [Advantage: Even]
SF – Luol Deng / Wesley Johnson [Advantage: Cavaliers]
PF – Tristan Thompson / Ryan Kelly [Advantage: Cavaliers]
C – Anderson Vaerjao / Robert Sacre [Advantage: Cavaliers]
Notable Bench Players
Cavaliers: F Earl Clark, G Dion Waters, F Tyler Zeller, PG Jarrett Jack
Lakers: G/F Nick Young, G Kendall Marshall, G Manny Harris, C Chris Kaman
Bench Advantage: Lakers
Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-G Jodie Meeks, GTD-F Jordan Hill
Keys for Lakers Victory
Rebound: If we evaluate the Lakers based on their last month of play, we can see that they cannot play defense and grab defensive rebounds. Therefore, the Lakers have to focus on not allowing the Cavaliers to grab a lot of offensive rebounds in order to try to limit their possessions.
Both the Lakers and Cavaliers are currently suffering from a multitude of issues. The Cavaliers suffer from locker room issues and players who do not want to play there. Unfortunately, the Lakers have been dealing with trying to maintain the health of their players. Hopefully, the Lakers play with a sense of urgency and relentlessness. They should play with a lot of energy tonight and hopefully come away with a victory tonight.