After losing four of their last five games, the Lakers (9-12) will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night just in time for point guard Kyrie Irving to make a return from a finger injury.
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.
Rookie guard Dion Waiters is questionable with a sprained ankle. It's not clear when Pau Gasol will make a return for the Lakers, but Steve Nash and Steve Blake are definitely out for now.
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.