In This Cross-Conference match-up, we will see LA Lakers visiting currently the worst team in the NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
First let’s look at the visiting team, LA Lakers. Lakers are currently in a good form, winning 7 out of the last 9 games, which is a nice change of pace compared to the start of the season. With 5 wins in the last 6 games, It’s safe to say they are in a good form. Their most recent game against Miami Heat, Lakers managed to get a healthy lead in the first quarter (21:34), which they extended by 2 points prior to the start of the 2nd half. With a 15 point lead at the start of the 3rd quarter, Lakers just had to hold on to the lead for the remaining 24 minutes and they did just that. The 3rd quarter ended with 24:25 for the Lakers and the last one saw teams being tied at 21:21. Final score: 97:113. James was easily the man of the match with 51 points, 3 assists and 8 rebounds in 38 minutes played and he will be hoping to extend his excellent performance into the next match, where he will face off against his former team, Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cleveland Cavaliers are in a terrible spot right now. Their record as of now is 2-13, which is the worst in the league and a reason they fired Tyronn Lue as their coach just recently. The last 5 games for Cleveland ended in only 1 win and 4 defeats, with the only team they managed to defeat being Charlotte Hornets (113:89). The most recent match against Pistons did not start well for Cleveland. They were trailing by 20 points by the end of the 2nd quarter, mostly due to their poor defense in the 1st quarter, when Pistons shot 73.7% from the field and their poor offense in the 2nd quarter, when Cleveland only shot 26.3% from the field. The 3rd quarter was once again in Pistons favor, who extended their lead to 24, only to see Cleveland waking up in the final 12 minutes where they outscored Detroit by 13 points (20:33), however, it was too late too little for a win. Final score: 113:102.
Cleveland are just not a team we were used to watching in previous seasons. With the departure of their head coach and morale at it’s lowest point, I find it hard to believe they can bounce back and finish in a decent position this year. In addition to coach departure, we will not see Kevin Love George Hill and JR Smith tonight for the home side. As for the Lakers, Rondo is the only absence. This will be an interesting match, with James facing off against his former team and Lakers playing against their former members who are now in Cleveland. Teams know each other well and with those weaknesses of the opposition. Cleveland are not a team I can safely say will win, neither can I say the same for Lakers, however, I can see this match being a high scoring one. Cleveland are capable of scoring well over 100 points, and Lakers are capable of letting well over 100 points to be scored. Same goes the other way around. I would be surprised if this match ends as a low scoring one, that’s why we predict it to end with more than 221 points in total.
Prediction: Over 221.00 Points
Odds: 2.02 Pinnacle