The Los Angeles Lakers are 2-6 on the road this season, and begin a four-game road trip tonight against the Cavaliers. The Lakers (9-12) will be without Pau Gasol for the fifth straight game with tendinitis in his knees. For Cleveland (4-17), they welcome back their star point guard Kyrie Irving to the floor after Irving missed the last 10 games with a fractured finger. Cleveland has gone 2-8 since the second-year guard out of Duke was injured back on November 18. Irving is averaging 22.9 point, 5.6 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game.
The Cavaliers have the league’s leading rebounder in Anderson Varejao, who is pulling down 15.2 boards a game, but the Lakers rank 2nd in the NBA in rebounds per game (45.9). The Cavs give up just over 100 points a game and Los Angeles averages over 100 points per game so expect triple digits from the Lakers tonight for the sixth time on the road this season. Cleveland is one of the youngest and most athletic teams in the NBA, which is a combination which has given the Lakers problems thus far in the season. Going into the season, a matchup with the Cavs would be considered an easy W but based on the recent play of the Lakers, this will be a tough victory on the road.
Many have been questioning Pau Gasol’s role on the Lakers but the fact is that Los Angeles is 1-3 without Gasol. Of course, Gasol being out for the last four games is not the sole reason the Lakers are struggling. The Lakers are just biding their time until Steve Nash returns which may be some time in the next week or two. If the Lakers continue to play as they have, they will split the next four games on the road. Los Angeles needs a win tonight to have some momentum going into Thursday’s matchup with the New York Knicks.
#15 World Peace SF #33 Gee
#4 Jamison PF #13 Thompson
#12 Howard C #17 Varejao
#24 Bryant SG #1 Gibson
#21 Duhon PG #2 Irving
The game tips-off at 4:00PM PT on TWC SportsNet.
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