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Cleveland Cavaliers Have a Chance to Make a Statement

January 14th, 2014 at 2:55 PM
By Pat Murphy

'Pau Gasol' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: The Cleveland Cavaliers have an opportunity tonight when they face the Los Angeles Lakers. That have the chance to get a statement win away from home in one of the league's premier venues.

No, this is not the typical Lakers team with superstars dominating the league, but it is still one of the league's marquee franchises. Despite a dismal 14-23 record, which finds them in the cellar of the Western Conference, Los Angeles is still one of the NBA's most discussed teams.

The Cavaliers come in winners in two of their last three games. The two wins came in dominating fashion, but the loss was equally as brutal the other way.

For those two games, it seemed Cleveland was headed the right way. The addition of Luol Deng was a step in the right direction to returning to the NBA playoffs. It seemed to spark the Cavs, at least for those two outings. The last game against the Sacramento Kings looked like a big step back for the Cavaliers, who reverted to their bad habits.

Tonight's game is winnable and would get the team back on the right track. They say you have to kick them when they're down and when it comes to the Lakers, you don't get many opportunities, but this may be the best one.

This is a team fading from their glory years. They tried to make an old roster work for one last run for Kobe Bryant, but things have not worked out as hoped.

Two of the team's stars in Bryant and Steve Nash have missed most of the season with injuries, but they are not the only ones. Heading into this game, Pau Gasol is a game-time decision (though head coach Mike D'Antoni seemed optimistic that he would play). The Lakers are on their fourth starting point guard in Kendall Marshall after injuries to Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar. Xavier Henry is also out for the game.

Just two days ago there was fear that L.A. would only have eight healthy bodies to go against Cleveland.

When a team is that depleted, the Cavaliers must attack. They did not have things figured out in Sacramento, but have had time to correct those issues. There has been more time for Deng to get adjusted to his teammates.

The Lakers may only be the Lakers in name alone, but Cleveland must strike while the iron is out.

Taking three out of four, and two out of three to start the road trip would make the one less easier to swallow.

Plus, who doesn't like seeing a team like L.A. lose?

Tags: Basketball, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Jordan Farmar, Kendall Marshall, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Luol Deng, NBA, Pau Gasol, Sacramento Kings, Steve Blake, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry

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