The Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Los Angeles Lakers this Monday night in a game between two teams trending in opposite directions. The Cavaliers come into this one as one of the worst teams, in the NBA, barely holding onto a winning percentage over 30 percent. That being said, they are coming off two straight wins, a rare occurrence for Cleveland. The Lakers on the other hand, are the best team in the Western Conference. The Bucks are the only team with a better record and Los Angeles has won eight in a row. It will take a crazy game for this Cleveland team to take them down at home.
Cleveland comes in hot after two straight winsThe Cavs come into this game with a ton of confidence after a huge win over a quality Denver Nuggets team to follow up on a win over the Pistons. They managed to get their defense working in that game and score enough to take down the Nuggets, but things will not be as easy against an explosive Lakers team. The Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled to put up points all season. The 105.1 points per game that they average is in the bottom five in the league. That will be a huge issue against a top 10 offensive team in the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Cavaliers lack the star power that is essential in the NBA today. With no player on the team averaging over 20 points per game, picking them to find a way around the Lakers is a tough task. Collin Sexton leads the team with 18.7 points per game, but expecting him to go off and compete with LeBron James is a tough task to say the least. To find a way to get a win, the Cavs will have to show depth and rely on their rebounding attack that has been solid in their recent wins. In the win over Denver, the Cavaliers had three separate players with more than 10 boards. Getting extra possessions will be huge for them on Monday night if they can pull it off.
James and Davis continue to dominateThe Los Angeles Lakers are nothing short of one of the best teams in the NBA. They are certainly the favorite to win the Western Conference and they certainly have a very favorable matchup on Monday night. LeBron James is the obvious difference for them this season. He is a seasoned veteran but still dominates every game with 25.4 points, 68.0 rebounds, and 10.7 assists per game. The chances of the Cavaliers having being able to slow him down are next to none. Cleveland is not known for their lockdown defense and stopping James from having a big game or dishing passes to give his teammates a big game is not likely to happen.
Another place the Cavs will struggle is in stopping Anthony Davis. His 27.1 points per game lead the Lakers, as do his 9.4 rebounds. Davis is still considered day to day and questionable for this game. If he plays, the Cavs are in real trouble. Rebounding has been the area where the Cavs thrive in their recent wins, but with Davis down low, that will likely evaporate on Monday night. Expect the Lakers to control the rebounding and in turn, the possession. If Los Angeles takes over possession, the Cavs are in for a very long night. With Davis and LeBron taking over, it is hard to see anywhere that Cleveland can make something happen.
- Cleveland is 1-6 ATS in their last seven Monday games
Trends from DonBest:
- The Lakers are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games against losing teams
- 3-1-1 ATS in their last five overall