The (32-9) Los Angeles Lakers are in Cleveland to face the (32-11) Cavaliers.
The Lakers league best record has been aided by playing several games at home. Los Angeles has embarked on their longest road trip of the season a 13-day eight-game road trip that includes two sets of back-to-back games.
Some have called this game an NBA Finals Preview, others have labeled this a battle of two of the league’s best from each Conference, and to the Lakers Nation there is only one way to describe this game; ‘revenge’.
The Lakers are on a three-game winning streak and need to remember that as the defending Champion, they’re the hunted as opposed to the hunter and need to match the intensity of their opponents and force their will on them.
When faced with a long road trip, a team will bond together, set a goal of having a winning record on said trip, and most importantly focus on each game individually, but for tonight’s game there’s no need for the coaching staff to provide a motivating pep talk or for the Lakers fans to wonder if the team will be up for this game.
After the beating the Lakers took on Christmas day, this game has been circled on the calendar. Consider the Lakers re-gifting the unwanted present they received from the Cavaliers or simply them giving it back to them labeled, return to sender.
Mo Williams killed the Lakers with 28 points in the last game, fortunately for the Lakers he will not be playing in tonight’s game.
The Lakers need to come out aggressive from the start play solid defense and avenge the home loss.
It is significant that the Lakers have won without Kobe being dominant. The black mamba is 19 points shy of 25,000 and still doing an excellent job of leading his team, he will get healthier and his shooting touch will return.
Cleveland was the more physical team in the last meeting and beat the Lakers in every phase of the game. The Lakers haven’t forgotten what happened and are out to avenge that loss. Everyone on the team knows exactly what has to be done. Other members of the team not named Kobe & Pau have stepped up their game and have shown that they know their roles and can contribute.
The reserves led by Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown are producing and I fully expect this trend to continue and have a solid impact in tonight’s game.
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: TNT
- Cleveland: TNT
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Cleveland: WTAM 1100 AM (Joe Tait & Mike Snyder)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture of Right Index Finger, Knee & back)
- Mo Williams (Shoulder Sprain) Out