I'm not saying that the Cavs are a good team. They aren't. I admit this. But you know who else isn't a good team? The Lakers. And it's hilarious.
9:30 PM Eastern
Staples Center -- Los Angeles, CA
Where on my eyeballs?
Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Lots of people thought the Lakers would be a dominant team this year. They traded for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. They still had Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Surely, this team would be unstoppable. Alas, they are not unstoppable. Instead, they suck.
It's really pretty funny. Every game that the Lakers play gets analyzed like crazy and talking heads on ESPN or TNT try to figure out what's wrong with LA. And most of the time, the Lakers end up getting blown out by a legitimately good team. They've lost their past six games and are now likely without Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol tonight against the Cavaliers. Dwight has a torn labrum and Gasol is yet to pass the NBA's concussion protocol. Despite all of that, the Lakers are still favored by 7 points. We'll see if Kyrie Irving can put on a show and complete the season sweep of the Lakers.
Although it is undeniable that watching Lakers fans try to cope with the fact that they aren't a good team is hilarious, it's also somewhat bad for the Cavaliers. In the Ramon Sessions trade, the Cavs gained the ability to swap the Miami Heat's 2013 first round pick (which they own) with the Lakers' 2013 first round pick. If the Lakers manage to sneak into the playoffs, the Cavs would be able to improve that pick from the very end of the first round to the late teens. However, if the Lakers don't make the playoffs, that option to swap is extinguished. So while I'd love for the Cavs to obliterate the Lakers on their home floor tonight, a loss wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. The Lakers need to go on a serious run to grab the 8th seed in the Western Conference, so that pick upgrade is looking less and less likely by the day.
The Lakers entered the season thinking that front court size would be their ultimate advantage. The tandem of Dwight and Pau with Jordan Hill off the bench would be impossible for any team to match up with. Now, all three of those players have suffered injuries and will likely be out for this game. The Cavaliers have basically zero front court depth due to Jon Leuer being awful and Anderson Varejao being hurt. Robert Sacre and Tyler Zeller will probably be the starting centers for this game. Metta World Peace might get some time at center.
Antawn Jamison is forced to play meaningful minutes for the Lakers. This is awesome.
Alonzo Gee had a disastrous night against the Denver Nuggets. He'll have a chance to bounce-back tonight, however. Unfortunately, that chance comes with the duty of trying to guard Kobe Bryant. Gee did a solid job on Kobe last time, but it didn't really matter. Kobe was hitting everything. It was insane.
In the end, it will still take some serious offensive rebounding from Tristan Thompson and a nice efficient game from Dion Waiters to let the Cavs win this game. Also: Kyrie Irving needs to be awesome.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
I'll go with the upset. Cavs send the Lakers to their 7th straight loss and rock-bottom for the 2nd time this year. Cavs win 105-99.