Early in the season, the common theme for the Cleveland Cavaliers have been injuries. Whenever one player returns to the rotation, another heads out for a random ache, pain, or hamstring strain. It started with Jarrett Allen missing the entire preseason and a sizeable portion of the early regular season. Lately, it has been Donovan Mitchell (hamstring) and Isaac Okoro (knee) who both have missed a sizable portion of Cleveland's latest games.

Well, leading up to tip-off against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavs are finally looking complete rotation-wise. After being listed as questionable heading into the matchup against Los Angeles, Mitchell and Okoro got the green light from Cleveland's medical staff to play. With that said, the Cavs are finally looking complete rotation-wise, with things likely shaking out like this against the Lakers:

Starting lineup:

  • Darius Garland
  • Donovan Mitchell
  • Max Strus
  • Evan Mobley
  • Jarrett Allen


  • Caris LeVert
  • Isaac Okoro
  • Craig Porter Jr.
  • Georges Niang
  • Tristan Thompson

Cavs vs. Lakers

Sources told ClutchPoints that Donovan Mitchell and Isaac Okoro could be on a slight minute restriction on Saturday night for Cleveland against Los Angeles. After both players missed a decent portion because of their respective injuries, the Cavs want to make sure they don't reaggravate things or cause another injury to flare up instead.

Despite Los Angeles missing Rui Hachimura, Cam Reddish, Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent, Cleveland will still need all hands on deck. Anthony Davis, who has evolved into a possible MVP candidate for the Lakers, will be the Cavs' central focus on the defensive side of the ball. While Cleveland having Mobley and Allen to contain and battle with Davis will be the game plan, having Okoro slow down Los Angeles's perimeter attack behind Austin Reave and D'Angelo Russell will help balance the Cavs out on defense and not overburden their backline.

More importantly, this game will mark the first time Cleveland has been fully healthy rotation-wise since November 3 when the Cavs lost to the Indiana Pacers. Cleveland has been unable to practice or execute their new offensive identity in full without everyone available. They've also been tested more than necessary on the defensive side of the ball. Cleveland has the potential to be one of the most balanced teams in the league but, again, early-season injuries have been holding the Cavs back to start the year.

Heading to Saturday's contest, Cleveland is 8-7 and 3-4 within the confines of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Now that the rotation is finally fully healthy, the Cavs will have a better chance to notch another win under their collective belt. Again, it won't be complete nor will it be a finished product against the Lakers, but it's a step in the right direction for Cleveland.

It'll all take time for the Cavs but, for now, things are trending upward for Cleveland when their schedule starts to get a bit lighter. The easier opponents like the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons coming up over the next few games are perfect opportunities for the Cavs to keep figuring out who they can be on either end of the floor. But, before they can get there, Cleveland has to set the table and lock in against Los Angeles. If they do, it'll help the Cavs build confidence to hang with the NBA's elite.