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The Los Angeles Lakers have improved their effort over the last two games of their road trip, but face a real threat in the Cleveland Cavaliers. With home-court advantage and one of the league’s most consistent defences, Cleveland should improve their grasp on 6th in the East.
Cleveland Cavaliers def. Los Angeles Lakers (-230 Caesars Sportsbook)
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|Los Angeles Lakers||Head-to-Head||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Frank Vogel||Head Coach||J.B. Bickerstaff|
|30-41 (9th in West)||Standing||41-30 (6th in East)|
|109.3 (24th of 30)||Off Rtg||111.2 (19th of 30)|
|112.1 (17th of 30)||Def Rtg||108.1 (4th of 30)|
|100.1 (5th of 30)||Pace||96.1 (27th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|L. James (29.8)||PPG||D. Garland (21.3)|
|A. Davis (9.7)||RPG||J. Allen (10.8)|
|R. Westbrook (7.1)||APG||D. Garland (8.5)|
|L. James (1.3)||SPG||D. Garland (1.2)|
|A. Davis (2.3)||BPG||E. Mobley (1.7)|
|D. Howard (.600)/L. James (11.2)||FG%/FGM||E. Davis (.688)/D. Garland (7.9)|
|D. Howard (.667)/L. James (2.8)||3P%/3PM||K. Love (.392)/K. Love (2.5)|
|Kendrick Nunn||Los Angeles Lakers||18 Jan 2022||Out (Knee)||Nunn suffered a setback in his recovery and there is no timetable for his return.|
|Anthony Davis||Los Angeles Lakers||17 Feb 2022||Out (Foot)||Davis has a mid-foot sprain and will be re-evaluated in 4 weeks.|
|Wayne Ellington||Los Angeles Lakers||19 Mar 2022||Day to Day (Illness)||Ellington was OUT for Los Angeles’ Saturday (Mar 19) game.|
|Collin Sexton||Cleveland Cavaliers||19 Nov 2021||Out (Knee)||Sexton underwent surgery on a torn meniscus and will miss the rest of the season.|
|Jarrett Allen||Cleveland Cavaliers||6 Mar 2022||Out (Finger)||Allen has a fractured finger and is out indefinitely.|
|Rajon Rondo||Cleveland Cavaliers||19 Mar 2022||Day to Day (Ankle)||Rondo was OUT for Cleveland’s Saturday (Mar 19) game.|
|Dean Wade||Cleveland Cavaliers||19 Mar 2022||Out (Knee)||Wade was OUT for Cleveland’s Saturday (Mar 19) game.|
This game will be more than a homecoming for eventual NBA Hall of Fame member LeBron James. In order to remain in the Western Conference playoff race, the Lakers must sort out their defensive inconsistencies.
Against one of the league’s more efficient offences, the Lakers’ porous defence must find its footing early in the game. Opting to direct teams into the paint rather than shoot from three, the Lakers allow their opponents to shoot 53.9% from inside the arc.
Cleveland are one of the league’s most efficient paint shooting teams, ranking 9th overall at 53.9%. The Lakers are solid rim protectors, but they can’t hold off the varied attack of the Cavaliers. If they can’t defend the paint, the Lakers can add another game to the loss column.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 20, 2022
In what will be his homecoming, expect another big game from superstar LeBron James. As he tries to drag his team back into the playoff race, James has been in prime form.
In his last game, a loss to the Washington Wizards, James posted 38 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. James has shown that he is still incredibly difficult to match, shooting 55.2% from the field and 40% from three against the Wizards.
To say that James turns up his game against the Cavaliers is an understatement. In 17 career games against Cleveland, James is averaging 29.1 points per game – his best scoring average against any team for his career. The future hall of famer can lead Los Angeles to victory.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are .500 through 10 games this March, as they’ve struggled to find their offensive form, particularly from three-point range. If they hope to beat the Lakers, Cleveland must punish them from beyond the arc.
In 10 games this March, Cleveland are shooting 47.7% from the field, but just 34.0% from three on almost 30 attempts per game. To compound their issues, the Cavaliers have allowed their opponents to hit 12 threes per game through March, on 31.4 attempts on average.
Rather than shot hunting, the Cavaliers improved their three-point efficiency in their last game through selectively taking opportunities. Cleveland’s path to success will be through their own scoring, as their own defensive standards remain high.
— NBA (@NBA) March 20, 2022
The Cleveland Cavaliers have had an excellent season, and shining for them in the point guard role is Darius Garland. Against a Lakers team that lacks perimeter defence, Garland’s production will be key for the Cavaliers.
In his last game, a win over the Detroit Pistons, Garland overcame a tough shooting night with his playmaking. Despite going just 8 of 18 from the field and 1 of 16 from three, Garland still posted 24 points and 12 assists in 41 minutes of play.
With the focus that the Lakers defenders will put on him, Garland will need to maintain his stellar passing play. Ball security will be paramount though, as Garland still committed 4 turnovers to his 12 assists.
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|Los Angeles Lakers vs Cleveland Cavaliers Information|
|Who||Los Angeles Lakers vs Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Where||Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio|
|When||7:00 PM EST, March 21st, 2022|
|How to Watch||Bally Sports Ohio, Spectrum SportsNet, NBA League Pass (Stream)|
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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