LeBron James will bring his league leading Cavaliers to town tonight to face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. While it's always a treat to see arguably the top two players in the NBA go head-to-head against one another, the Lakers need to focus on snapping their losing streak instead of the individual matchup.
L.A. has lost its last two games against some of the league's elite: the Spurs got 'em with a last second shot last Wednesday, and the Magic pulled away late to win on Friday. The Cavs are certainly in that elite class as well, and they come into this one with a record of 31-7, good for best in the league. Oh, and they've beaten the Lakers five straight times, dating back to 2006.
If the Lakers want to continue to be mentioned in the title conversation, then they'll need to start winning games at home against the other contenders -- especially when they aren't playing at full strength.
Cleveland will be without Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Delonte West, two players that would normally fill spots in the Cavs' starting lineup. That didn't seem to matter the other night against the Hornets however, as LeBron and his remaining teammates used their defense to smother New Orleans into just 37 percent shooting from the field, on their way to an easy 92-78 win that wasn't even that close.
While the Cavs are struggling through injuries, the Lakers are finally getting healthy. Luke Walton is expected to return tonight, after missing the last several games with a foot injury. He likely won't start, but just getting him back into the lineup should be a nice boost for the Lakers.
The team matchup is huge considering where L.A. and Cleveland sit in the standings, but try as we may, it will be difficult to keep our eyes off of Kobe versus Lebron. On nights like these, it's best to just sit back and enjoy the show, because this is about as good as it gets as far as what the NBA's regular season has to offer.