Cleveland Cavaliers vs Los Angeles Lakers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA

When: Sunday, January 13th, 9:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBA TV, Fox Sports Ohio, and Spectrum SportsNet | WTAM 1100 / 100.7 WMMS / 87.7 FM (ESP) and 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES

Cleveland Cavaliers (Away)

Head Coach: Larry Drew {All-Time 151-197 | ATL, MIL, CLE}

The loss of an all-time great player like LeBron James is sure to hit any team hard. With talents the likes of Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson you’d think the Cavs would’ve fared better, however they sit last in the East and NBA at 8-34.

To say the Cavaliers are on a losing streak would be an understatement. In their last ten matches the Cavaliers are 0-10 while allowing more than 110 points in eight of those contests.

The Cavaliers are led by a relatively young core topped by Filipino Shooting Guard Jordan Clarkson. With Kevin Love out, most of the young Cavaliers team are forced to create their own offence and it has shown rather negative results.

Los Angeles Lakers (Home)

Head Coach: Luke Walton {All-Time 84-122 | LAL}

The Los Angeles Lakers have tumbled down the Western Conference rankings. After ranking in the top four of the West in December, an injury to LeBron James on Christmas Day took the wind out of the Lakers’ sails.

With a record of 23-19, the Los Angeles Lakers have an incredibly slight hold on eighth in the West. Both the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings are a hair from taking their spot in the playoff race. Depending on the length of James’ injury, the Lakers will need to rattle of some wins fast if they don’t want to be out of the top eight by his return.

The Cavaliers are a lowly team but possess weapons that the Lakers should be worried about. They’re capable scoring at the rim and have big-men shooters that can drag the Lakers bigs out of the paint. If the Lakers can lock in defensively though, it should be an easy night.

What’s At Stake?

The Cavaliers and Lakers rarely meet, but it is generally an even contest when they do as history serves. In the all-time series, the Los Angeles Lakers lead the Cleveland Cavaliers 63-50.

A win for the Cavaliers would do little, keeping them in fifteenth place in the Eastern Conference.

As for the Lakers, a win would give them another game on the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings who are just two games behind the Lakers for eighth place.

Questions to answer

Who will step up with Larry Nance out?

Who will step up with LeBron James out?

We are going to compare the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Cavs are thin up front

With the injury to Larry Nance, the Cleveland Cavaliers front court has been narrowed down to Channing Frye, Ante Zizic, and Tristan Thompson. While all have skills that have notably kept them in the league, none represent winning solutions for the Cavaliers.

Don’t be surprised to see Larry Drew walk out more perimeter oriented lineups for the Cavaliers. Jaron Blossomgame is an energetic young forward who was a dangerous inside-outside threat during his time with the G-League.

Most of the Cavaliers offence will be run through Clarkson and Osman, for good reason. However for the Cavaliers to take one from their old star LeBron James, their limited supporting cast will need to step up and make timely shots.

Four leading scorers, five games

The Lakers, in their recent 2-3 run, have had four different leading scorers in the five games that they’ve played. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson, and Kyle Kuzma, all lead the team offensively despite the three losses.

There certainly doesn’t have to be a sole player to take on the scoring load for the Lakers with James out. However there does need to be consistency when it comes to generating offence for the team. Some games it’ll be egalitarian as they push it in transition, other games it’ll be Ingram post-ups, and in the last game it’ll be Kuzma in the one-on-one.

The Cavaliers are a weak team so the Lakers should have no problem dispatching them. However the Lakers will need to lay an offensive foundation down if they want to have continued success with James out indefinitely.

Cleveland Cavaliers Roster Notes

C John Henson – Out (Wrist) – The team announced Henson had successful surgery on his wrist Tuesday (Nov 27) without a timetable for return.

G Rodney Hood – Day To Day (Left achilles) – The Cavs have listed Hood as QUESTIONABLE for Friday’s game (Jan. 11) against the Rockets.

F-C Kevin Love – Out (Toe) – Love said he’s still weeks away from returning to the court, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press.

F-C Larry Nance – Out (Knee) – The Cavs announced that Nance Jr. will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a MCL sprain in his right knee.

G-F David Nwaba – Out (Ankle) – Nwaba is about a week away from returning to action, according to Marla Ridenour of Ohio.com.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

F LeBron James – Out (Groin Strain) – The Lakers announced that James is making progress and the next update on his groin injury will be provided on Jan. 16.

G Rajon Rondo – Out (Right Finger Sprain) – The Los Angeles Lakers announced G Rajon Rondo will miss 4-5 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right ring finger.

Head-to-Head: Collin Sexton vs Lonzo Ball

Collin Sexton

Point Guard | 6-2, 190lb (188cm, 86kg) | Alabama | Exp. Rookie

14.6 PPG | 2.8 APG | 3.0 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 2.3 TOV | .415 FG% | .385 3P%

Lonzo Ball

Point Guard | 6-6, 190lb (198cm, 86kg) | UCLA | Exp. 1 Year

9.5 PPG | 5.1 APG | 5.2 RPG | 1.5 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .407 FG% | .333 3P%

A matchup between two young and promising point guards comes together in Staples Center. Collin Sexton and Lonzo Ball are two guards who, while flawed, hope to be the future of the backcourt in the NBA.

Collin Sexton had a tough start to his rookie season. After a myriad of rumours over his ability to run a team, Sexton has settled into his role and is continuing his excellent scoring ways at the point. He isn’t a deadly playmaker and he doesn’t take care of the ball well, but Sexton inherently knows how to put the ball in basket which is a valuable skill at the NBA level.

Lonzo Ball, regardless of any controversy developed by himself or his family, is a capable point guard. In a way he can do it all. He’s big, can rebound the ball, push it up the court, and finish inside. With LeBron James out, he has taken over playmaking duties and excelled. He still doesn’t shoot the ball reliably, but with weapons like Kuzma and Chandler he is very capable of creating the correct play.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.