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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Lakers game preview, start time, TV information

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The Cavaliers look to avoid the L.A. flu while shorthanded.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The waking wounded wear wine and gold. The Cavaliers, already missing Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love, will be without Rodney Hood and Cedi Osman after injuries suffered against the Clippers. The team also might be missing Kyle Korver, who’s questionable with a bruised foot.

All this to say: John Holland, it’s your time to shine, sport.

Who: Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers

When: 9 p.m. (JEEZ! FOR THE SECOND GAME IN A ROW!)

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Enemy Blog: Silver Screen and Roll

TV: ESPN

Online: Watch ESPN

Cavaliers injuries: Kevin Love (OUT - hand), Tristan Thompson (OUT - ankle), Rodney Hood (OUT - back), Cedi Osman (OUT - hip), Kyle Korver (QUESTIONABLE - foot)

Lakers injuries: Channing Frye (OUT - appendectomy), Josh Hart (OUT - hand), Brandon Ingram (OUT - groin)

Three keys to the game

  • Who the hell plays for the Cavaliers? Jeff Green has been thrust into the starting lineup as the team’s starting power forward, and if Korver can’t suit up, it’s hard to imagine who will play on the backup wing and power forward spot. All these injuries probably mean that we’ll see a steady diet of Jose Calderon at backup point guard and Jordan Clarkson will be forced to play minutes at shooting guard and perhaps small forward. John Holland also could get meaningful rotation minutes. At the backup power forward spot, I’d just like you to imagine the shrug emoji and we’ll call it a day.
  • On the other end, we’ll get to see Isaiah Thomas’ return to action against the Cavaliers after a hilariously awful tenure that didn’t top two months of action. Both sides will play nice, but most reporting about this indicated that there were no warm feelings. Both will want to show the other that they didn’t need them, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cavaliers try to regularly engineer switches for Isaiah defensively to punish him for being out there.
  • While Brandon Ingram won’t be playing, the Cavaliers will have to deal with the scoring punch and size that the Lakers bring to the table. The Cavs don’t even have their taller wings suited up, let alone two of their three rotational bigs, so Brook Lopez and Julius Randle could play bully ball. We’ll see if they can keep them off the boards and away from the rim.

Key matchup

George Hill really needs to punish Isaiah Thomas when he’s got that matchup. He’s not an elite isolation player, and offensively, he’s been disappointing so far this season with the Cavaliers. He has a hilarious advantage in size in that matchup, though, and he needs to take advantage while limiting Thomas’ offense.

Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction

The Lakers win this game and concern about the Cavaliers starts to spin out of control, because that’s the most irritating outcome. Lakers 116, Cavaliers 107.