At 4 pm PST, the Los Angeles Lakers will tip-off against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Jordan Farmar is back in the starting lineup.
Farmar missed the better part of two months with two separate tears in his right hamstring. The former UCLA Bruin was dressed and available to play on Tuesday night, but Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Kendall Marshall provided the Lakers enough depth in Tuesday's loss.
Nash is sitting out Wednesday's back-to-back, so Farmar has returned to the lineup. Marshall will continue to serve off the bench. Steve Blake and Ryan Kelly hold onto their starting spots, and Wesley Johnson returns to the starting five due to the injury to Jodie Meeks.
Robert Sacre is also holding onto his starting spot, but yet again, the Lakers are rolling out a new look. This time, they're in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers.
In terms of form, these teams are shockingly evenly matched, and that’s not a compliment.
The Lakers have lost seven games in a row, and the Cavs have lost five in a row. Both teams have won only two of the last eight games, and both teams have 16 wins and 32 losses on the season.
Shockingly, in the Eastern Conference, Cleveland is closer to the playoffs than last place. In the Western Conference, however, the Lakers are in a three-way tie for the worst record for any team claiming the West side. For the Lakers, the playoffs have not been mentioned in weeks.
These are not the two best teams in any division or conference. The only guarantee about Wednesday night’s game is that one of these two teams will end a losing streak.
The Cavs have not been competitive during the latest nose dive, losing by an average of 16.4 points per game during the last five games. The Lakers, who have continued to fight despite being grossly undermanned, have lost by an average of 7.5 points during their seven-game skid.
If there was an award for being a better loser, the Lakers would win that highly undesirable accolade.
Both teams, unfortunately, share the agony of not being entirely competitive for some time. The Lakers may not be heading to a title, but Wednesday evening should offer a competitive game between two evenly matched teams.