The Cavaliers started relatively strong, at least for a young, rebuilding team, but losing Irving for 11 games has led to a 4-17 record. Cleveland is coming in with five straight losses, hungry to hang a loss on the Lakers.
Both teams are desperate for a win, which should lead to a passionate basketball game.
Tuesday would be a tremendous opportunity for the Lakers to take a big step forward, but it certainly won't be easy to accomplish in Cleveland, despite their record.
Anderson Varejao has been a force for the Cavaliers, averaging 14.5 points and 15.2 boards a game. Varejao provides a young squad with veteran leadership and a defensive presence.
Of course, Varejao will have to match up against Dwight Howard, who is averaging 18.4 points and 11.7 rebounds a game.
If Irving returns strong, the Lakers might need the (relative) quickness and length of Darius Morris to slow one of the best young point guards in the league.
The Lakers need the win, badly. They'll have to fight to get it.ALSO: