CLEVELAND — A few pregame notes from tonight’s Cavaliers-Lakers game at The Q:
• Jordan Hill will start at power forward for the Lakers in place of Paul Gasol (knee tendinitis). Former Cavs power forward Antawn Jamison, who started in Sunday’s loss vs. Utah, will come off the bench.
• Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he’s starting Hill in hopes of countering Cavs center Anderson Varejao near the basket. D’Antoni specifically cited Hill’s energy as a reason. “We give up too many second-chance points, too many missed rebound opportunities,” D’Antoni said.
• This is the first of four straight road games through the Eastern Conference for the Lakers (9-12). “I think every time we walk on that floor we should win — whether it’s on the road or at home, I think we can win them all,” D’Antoni said. “I think we can go 4-0 (on the trip).”
• Cavs coach Byron Scott will start C.J. Miles at shooting guard in place of the injured Dion Waiters (ankle). However, Alonzo Gee will defend Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant to start, Scott said. Daniel Gibson, who had been starting in place of Waiters, moves back to a reserve role.
• For the uninformed, Kyrie Irving will start at point guard after missing 11 games with a broken left index finger.
• When asked if he felt like he took a bullet for Lakers coaching candidate Phil Jackson, D’Antoni laughed. “Yeah, I took it right in the kneecap too, man.” D’Antoni later added, “I’m a big boy. I can handle it.”
Jamison is wearing No. 4, the same one Scott wore during his time with the Magic Johnson-led Lakers of the 1980s. “I think (Jamison) better represent that number real well,” Scott said, laughing.
• Jamison averaged 17.2 point last season with the Cavs, but is averaging a career-low 8.0 points this year.
• Scott’s final season as a player came in 1996-97 with the Lakers. Bryant was a rookie on that team. “I got a chance to be with him for a whole year. I watched him practice, watched him on the road, talked to him on a day-to-day basis … The one thing I knew about Kobe then was, No. 1, he was extremely talented. But No. 2, he was very driven. It was pretty simple when I asked him what he wanted to accomplish. He said, ‘I want to be the best player in the NBA.’”