The struggle LA Lakers will welcome the visit The Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center Friday. The defending champions are on a four-game losing streak following LeBron James’ sprained ankle against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Their latest debacle came Thursday at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers. The 109-101 loss underscored how much James and Anthony Davis miss the LA Lakers. Generating points has been a struggle for purple and gold over the past four games. But they also struggled to keep the other teams from scoring.
They have a good chance of stealing a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are also missing many of their key players. Despite having won three of their last five games, the Cavs have had to settle for makeshift rosters that adjust for each player who becomes unavailable.
For Friday’s game with the LA Lakers, the Cleveland Cavaliers could once again be without their leading scorer Collin Sexton aside from JaVale McGee, their backup center who was traded to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Lakers injury update
The Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton will be a game-time decision due to a hamstring pain that caused him to miss the Cleveland Cavaliers game against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Forward Taurean Prince has a sprained left shoulder that has kept him from playing since the All-Star break. The veteran forward will also be a game time decision, but don’t expect him to play until the Cavs update his status.
Five-time All-Star Kevin Love will be out for the seventh game in a row after worsening his calf injury. The pain in his right calf will continue to rule him out for the LA Lakers game.
Finally, another veteran of the Cleveland Cavaliers will remain sidelined on Friday. Matthew Dellavedova is still recovering from an appendectomy and the team have yet to set a timeline for when he can play this season. Although he came to train last weekend, he has yet to appear in a game.
LeBron James has had a four to six week window to find out when he might be back on the pitch, per Athlete’s Shams Charania. With this schedule, James’ sprained right ankle will keep him from playing until mid-April.
The other LA Lakers star, Anthony Davis, will be reassessed on March 26. His double injuries (calf strain and Achilles tendinosis) have prevented him from playing since February 14. Still, the LA Lakers are poised to lose more than a few more games to prepare him for the playoffs. But he could be back in two weeks, according to one recent report by Shams Charania.
Forward Jared Dudley was on the bench as a spectator during the Lakers’ loss to the Sixers last night. For his torn right MCL, which is often a career-ending injury, he opted for rehabilitation over surgery. Dudley could join the team in the locker room when the Purple and Gold win their title.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Lakers Scheduled lineup
The Cleveland Cavaliers
Sexton’s absence against the Bulls elevated Cedi Osman to the starting lineup as the team started small forward, Isaac Okoro sliding into the shooting guard position.
Dylan Windler and Quinn Cook could play for a few minutes depending on how coach JB Bickerstaff views the clashes.
In the absence of the Taurian prince, Dylan Windler, Damyean Dotson and Lamar Stevens played more minutes in the rotation.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers trading JaVale McGee have opened up save center minutes for Dean Wade, with Larry Nance Jr. eventually able to move to the post where Jarrett Allen needs a break.
Love’s absences have given Larry Nance Jr. the starting point of attack for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Meanwhile, Dellavedova hasn’t played a single game this season.
Kyle Kuzma took over the quadruple MVP’s small forward spot in the starting lineup, with James missing the last three games. Meanwhile, Markieff Morris became the starter in place of Anthony Davis.
The LA Lakers featured Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell heavily on offense without the two stars. But Kuzma finally turned out big on their last outing.
Alfonzo McKinnie has played more minutes, but Marc Gasol’s return from COVID-19 protocols has removed Devontae Cacok from the regular rotation.
Jared Dudley’s absence wasn’t a factor in the LA Lakers’ rotation as he didn’t play much before the injury.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Lakers Scheduled Starting 5s
The Cleveland Cavaliers:
Guard point – Darius Garland l Shooting guard – Isaac Okoro l Small before – Cedi Osman l Power Forward – Larry Nance Jr. l Center – Jarrett Allen
Guard point – Dennis Schroder l Shooting guard – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope l Small before – Kyle Kuzma l Power Forward – Markieff Morris l Center – Marc Gasol