Game Preview: Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers 12/11/12

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Kyrie Irving will make his return as the Lakers visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Lakers begin a four game road-trip without Steve Nash or Pau Gasol.

Casting Call

Los Angeles Lakers (9-12, 101.8 ppg, 98.7 ppg allowed)

Cleveland Cavaliers (4-17, 94.3 ppg, 100.5 ppg allowed)

Showtime

4:00 pm PST

Plot

It's back to the road for the Los Angeles Lakers after a quick pit stop at Staples Center Sunday where they were defeated by the Utah Jazz. The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Lakers in the first game in a four game road trip, and Uncle Drew has come out of the retirement home for this one. Kyrie Irving will make his return (because, obviously) against the Lakers after missing time since November 18th due to a broken finger.

Yes, a coveted Duke vs. Duke point guard duel. Godspeed, Chris Duhon. In fact, the entire Lakers defense can go ahead accept the wish of fortune, as they'll need it.

Kyrie Irving will lead the Cavaliers against the purple and gold in an "early" game (ask us east coasters and we'd say it's just right) that will be under way at 4 pm PST. Prior to injuring his finger, Kyrie was averaging 22.9 points per game along with 5.7 assists, and in his absense the Cavaliers have gone have gone 2-10 (including the game they lost when he was hurt).

In fact, the Cavaliers are on a six game losing streak and haven't won a game in December. Their last win came November 30th in Atlanta. Yes, the Cavs have struggled without their star of a starting point guard; a problem we here at Silver Screen & Roll can relate with. In Irving's absence, though, Anderson Varejao has played exceedingly well. He leads the league in rebounding, averaging 15.2 rebounds a night, and is scoring 14.5 points per game. What's worth noting with Varejao, especially with a team in the Lakers that have made a terrible habit in allowing offensive rebounds, is that he is by far the best offensive rebounder in the league. He has 32 more offensive rebounds (121 total) than Kenneth Faried (89) who trails him at 2nd in the league. Anderson is incredibly active on the glass and will punish the Lakers if they come out lackadaisical as has been the case.

The Cavaliers will be playing without rookie Dion Waiters, their 2nd leading scorer, who has a sprained ankle. Steve Nash, despite Mike D'Antoni being optimistic he could return as soon as this road trip, revealed that it will be at least another two weeks before he is playing again. Pau Gasol is also out tonight, still letting his knees rest in hopes that he can recover from the tendinitis in both of his knees (at the same damn time).

The Lakers no longer get the benefit of the doubt of "should win" games with their play. The Cavaliers record has definitely taken a huge hit with the absence of Kyrie Irving, but with his return and the Lakers inability to guard the perimeter (see: just about any point guard this season. Or last season. Or the season before) he could have a huge game in his return. A player like Anderson Varejao who will work the bigs to death-- especially with an on again off again Dwight Howard, undersized Jordan Hill, and push over Antawn Jamison -- is exactly the kind of player that will give Los Angeles heartache and Cleveland extra possessions. Oh, and let's not forget the challenge Irving offered Kobe over the summer; challenging Bryant to a game of one on one for $50,000 donated to their charities. It never came to fruition with Kyrie suffering from another injury, but there's definitely some good spirited chippy-ness between the old man and the good kid.

On This Soundtrack

good kid - Kendrick Lamar


Mass hallucination baby
Ill education baby
Want to reconnect with your relations
This is your station baby

[Verse 1]
Look inside these walls and you see them having withdrawals
Of a prisoner on his way
Trapped inside your desire
To fire bullets that stray
Track a tire just tell you I'm tired and ran away
I should ask a choir what do you require
To sing a song that acquire me to have faith
As the record spin I should pray
For the record I recognize that I'm easily prey
I got ate alive yesterday
I got animosity building
It's probably big as a building
Me jumping off of the roof
Is just me playing it safe
But what am I supposed to do
When the topic is red or blue
And you understand that I ain't
But know I'm accustomed to
Just a couple that look for trouble
And live in the street with rank
No better picture to paint than me walking from bible study
And called his homies because he had said he noticed my face
From a function that tooken place
They was wondering if I bang
Step on my neck and get blood on your Nike checks
I don't mind because one day you respect
The good kid, m.A.A.d. city

[Hook]

[Verse 2]
All I see is strobe lights
Blinding me in my hindsight
Finding me by myself
Promise me you can help
In all honesty I got time to be copacetic
And finally made decision to hold me against my will
It was like a head on collision that folded me standing still
I can never pick out the difference
? or cop on the bill
Every time you clock in the morning
I feel you just want to kill
All my innocence while ignoring my purpose
To persevere as a better person
I know you heard this and probably in fear
But what am I supposed to do
With the blinking of red and blue
Flash from the top of your roof
And your dog has to say proof
And you ask "lift up your shirt"
Cause you wonder if a tattoo
Of affiliation can make it a pleasure to put me through
Gang files, but that don't matter because the matter is racial profile
I heard them chatter: "He's probably young but I know that he's down"
Step on his neck as hard as your bullet proof vest
He don't mind, he know we never respect
The good kid, m.A.A.d. city

[Hook]

[Verse 3]
All I see in this room
20 Xanies and these 'shrooms
Grown-up candy for pain
Can we live in the same society
It's entirely stressful upon my brain
You hired me as a victim
I quietly hope for change
When violence is the rhythm
Inspired me to obtain
The silence in this room
With 20 Xanies and 'shrooms
Some grown-up candy I lost it
I feel it's nothing to lose
The streets sure to release the worst side of my best
Don't mind, cause now you ever in debt
To good kid, m.A.A.d. city

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @BallReasons

- Check out Fear The Sword as they prepare Uncle Drew for his return.

- Buy Los Angeles Lakers Tickets click here

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