Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers: Game preview and how to watch

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to push their winning streak to eight games as they take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (7-1) at Los Angeles Lakers (2-6)

Where: Los Angeles, California – Crypto.com Arena

When: 3:30 p.m. EST

TV: Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports+, NBA League Pass

Opposite Blog: Money screen and roll

Cavs expected starting roster: Darius Garland / Donovan Mitchell / Caris LeVert / Evan Mobley / Jarrett Allen

Cavs injury report: Darius Garland (QUESTIONABLE – knee), Donovan Mitchell (QUESTIONABLE – ankle), Ricky Rubio (OUT – ACL), Isaiah Mobley (OUT – G League Assignment), Dylan Windler (OUT – right ankle)

Lakers expected starting roster: Lonnie Walker / Patrick Beverley / Troy Brown / LeBron James / Anthony Davis

Lakers injury report: Thomas Bryant (OUT – thumb), Anthony Davis (QUESTIONABLE – back), LeBron James (LIKELY – foot), Wenyan Gabriel (LIKELY – disease), Dennis Schroder (OUT – thumb), Cole Swider (OUT – foot), Scottie Pippen Jr. (OUT – League G Assignment)

To monitor

Father Time vs. LeBron James. Nike commercials are funny, but they ring true right now. Father Time and poor roster construction in Los Angeles made LeBron look deadlier than ever.

James is still posting tally stats as we expected as he averages 24 points, 7.3 boards and 9.1 assists, but he’s not doing it the way we’re used to. He is currently shooting 43.1% from the ground, 20.7% from deep and 73.2% from the line. To put that into perspective, Russell Westbrook is currently shooting a higher percentage of threes and from the free throw line.

LeBron’s ability to finish at the edge and reach the line is one of the main reasons his shooting percentage has been so low. He finishes just 66.2% of his looks at the rim, which is his lowest percentage since his rookie season and draws shooting fouls on a career low 11.4% of his shot attempts leading to only 5.1 free throws per game.

That said, LeBron has always kept his best for his old team and his hometown team. In his career, James is 17-1 against the Cavs averaging 29.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game. He put on a show last March despite a crippled Lakers roster as he had 38 points, 10 boards and 12 assists in the win.

Moving past James’ importance to the organization both on and off the court is something the Cavs have struggled with over the past 20 years. It is, however, a new Cavalier era and a new team that has looked like contenders through eight games. We’ll see if this group can survive LeBron’s best punch and play the way we expect this season.

Kevin Love charges. Love has been on a mission to pull charges since last December. Love already has a league lead with 8 charges fired and averaging 1.82 charges per 36 minutes. It turned out to be something that Love is absolutely committed to.

Last season, Love tried to press charges against his friend and it didn’t go over very well for him.

We know Love is going to try to get revenge tonight. We’ll see if it ends in an offensive foul or another embarrassing display like last time.

The Lakers offense against the Cavs defense. LA’s offense is what’s really held them back so far this season, as they have the 29th ranked offense with a 103.9 offensive rating. This is also not a case of the offense being dragged down when James sits because they have a 104.4 offensive rating with him.

The Lakers shooting profile is interesting. They take a league leading 42.7% of their shots from the rim and convert on 65.8% of those shots, good for 12th best in the league. This is something that would usually indicate a functional infraction that prioritizes access to the basket. The problem is that they can’t hit any other type of shot. They are last in average short-range shooting percentage, 26th in medium-range long shots, last in three-corner and last in three-point shots (28.6%).

This type of offense plays directly into the hands of the Cavs. After Friday’s win, the Cavs have the second-best defense in the league with a defensive rating of 104.9. Cleveland did this by limiting three-point attempts (allowing just 31.1 opposing trios per game) and funneling them inside the arc while trying to bait them into midrange shots or looking at the rim. Opponents attempt 32.5% of their shots in the midrange and connect on just 36.6% of those shots.

Trying to score at the rim against Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, who just finished a 7 block performance against the Detroit Pistons, is not what you want to do if you are a team that has a lot of trouble with their shooting outside and middle. .

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