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Lack of effort from Lakers leads to one of worst losses of season against Cavaliers

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The Lakers once again failed to show the effort necessary to win a basketball game, dropping an embarrassing one against Cleveland at home.

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NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers weren’t the only team in Los Angeles that couldn’t get a win on Sunday. Following a disappointing loss on the road to the Utah Jazz, the Lakers were unable to take care of business at home against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has won just nine games this season, losing 102-95.

With a loss to the Cavs on Sunday, the Lakers are tied in the wins and losses column with the Jazz. They’re also just a game and a half back from the 11th seed in the Western Conference.

On one hand, you could argue that Lakers are missing two of their best players — and arguably their only vocal leaders in the locker room — in James and Rondo.

On the other hand, the problems this team has goes far beyond James and Rondo.

Once again, the Lakers were pitiful from the free-throw line, converting just xx of their xx attempts. While the stats on NBA.com haven’t updated yet, I’m going to take a wild guess and say they’re still the worst free-throw shooting team in the league after this game.

It’s gotten so bad that them being in the bonus, like they were in the fourth quarter, isn’t even worth getting excited about.

The Lakers’ effort to start games also continues to be one of the more frustrating things about them as a team. It’s really, really hard to win games when you spend all of your energy trying to dig yourself out of a grave you dug yourself in the first quarter.

Anyone whose ever played NBA 2K online knows this.

The Lakers will be back at it on Tuesday to take on the Chicago Bulls, who — on paper — are arguably better than the Cavaliers. LeBron James will be re-evaluated the following day. If the Lakers show the same lack of effort they showed for most of the game tonight, only one of those things really matters.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.