Which players will be in the starting lineup tonight?
Players who have started in a playoff game for the first time, including some who haven’t yet played in a regular-season game, are expected to get their first taste of playing in a postseason game when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Los Angeles Lakers.
That means the Cavaliers, who have not won a playoff series in their last 10 regular-decade appearances, are set to start two new players tonight.
They’ll be joined by rookie center J.R. Smith and veteran center Anthony Bennett, who are not eligible to play until after this season because they have not yet reached the NBA draft.
Bennett, 23, is the first player to make the roster since guard Isaiah Thomas in 2013.
He has been the only player to play in more than half of the Cavaliers’ postseason games this season, averaging 17.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists.
The 6-foot-10 guard averaged 20.3 points and 6.2 assists during the regular season, while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 45.6 percent from 3-point range.
He played in 11 games in the NBA Finals, and averaged 16.3 and 4.7 assists while shooting 45.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The Cavs, who lost in six games in Game 6 to the Los Angles Lakers, are on the verge of their sixth consecutive championship, which would tie them with the Chicago Bulls for the most in franchise history.
They’ve won the NBA championship five times since the team was founded in 1919, winning six consecutive titles from 1946 to 1957.
Cavs guard James Jones, who has not played in the postseason since a 2-for-14 performance in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, will start at shooting guard for the Cavs.
It will mark his second start in the playoffs, after a start in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
He also played in Game 4 of the NBA Championship Series in 2017.
The Cavaliers are 3-3 in their past five postseason games.
In their most recent matchup with the Lakers, Bryant had 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
He scored a season-high 36 points against the Celtics in the 2016 playoffs.
Bryant was the league’s Most Valuable Player, and he has been named NBA MVP twice.
The next three regular-game games in Cleveland are: Thursday, at New Orleans, 4 p.m.
ET; Friday, at Denver, 1 p.b.m.; and Saturday, at Philadelphia, 1:30 p.t.