After back-to-back wins in which they seemed to be trending in the right direction, the Los Angeles Lakers took a step back against the Utah Jazz on Friday night when they gave up 130 points in a loss.
Now, they look to bounce back against one of the NBA’s elite teams so far in the Cleveland Cavaliers in a Sunday afternoon matinee game at Crypto.com Arena.
This game is of course against LeBron James’ former team and he is expected to play despite dealing with an illness and foot soreness. Anthony Davis is also playing despite his recent back troubles.
For James though, he will need to play much better if the Lakers want to come away with a win in this one. LeBron has struggled shooting the ball so far this season, shooting just 43.1% from the field and 20.7% from 3-point range. He has typically taken matchups with the Cavaliers personally though so look for him to be extra aggressive in this one to get back on track.
The Lakers are still without Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant due to thumb injuries. Additionally, Patrick Beverley has been ruled out with a non-COVID related illness. Wenyen Gabriel has been dealing with the same illness but is available to play.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, see both Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell return to the lineup after both missed Friday’s game with knee and ankle injuries, respectively.
That backcourt has been instrumental in leading the Cavaliers to an impressive 7-1 record to start the year. It hasn’t been just them though as Cleveland has gotten plenty of contributions from others.
Included in that is Caris LeVert, who was moved into the starting lineup and is shooting 45.5% from 3 on the year. The last time LeVert played at Crypto.com Arena as a member of the Indiana Pacers, he torched the Lakers for 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting so he is someone they will have to pay attention to.
Meanwhile for the Lakers, they will continue to look for contributions from Russell Westbrook in his new bench role. The point guard has thrived since becoming L.A.’s sixth man, averaging 18.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists while shooting 50.9% from the field and 41.2% from 3 in four games.
If James and Davis can get back to their usual selfs then the Lakers will have a chance against any team moving forward. The Cavaliers are a young, hungry bunch though, so L.A. will have to come out focused and with energy to get a win on Sunday afternoon.
Los Angeles Lakers (2-6) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (7-1)
12:30 p.m. PT, November 6, 2022
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Kendrick Nunn
SG: Lonnie Walker IV
SF: Troy Brown Jr.
PF: LeBron James
C: Anthony Davis
Key Reserves: Russell Westbrook, Austin Reaves, Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Wenyen Gabriel, Matt Ryan
Projected Cavaliers Starting Lineup:
PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Caris LeVert
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen
Key Reserves: Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro, Robin Lopez, Dean Wade
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