For the first time this season LeBron James is returning to the place where he is still the greatest sports here as he took the Cavaliers to their only NBA championship in 2016. When he left for Miami, the King was a villain and wasn’t welcomed when he played in Cleveland but this time around things are much different.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the most pleasant surprise this season in the Eastern Conference. No one expected anything of the young Cavaliers team but right before the All-Star break, they were third in the conference.
After losing 8 of the last 12 games, the Cavs are now sixth in the Eastern Conference but now the playoff berth is questionable. Cleveland is only one win ahead of the play-in tournament zone meaning that they will have to finish the season strong in order to make it to the postseason.
J. B. Bickerstaff is currently with a 39-29 record including 21-11 at home. The Cavs allow only 103.8 points per game which ranks them second in the league while they score 106.9 points which put them in the 25th spot. A weak spot in this team is their free-throw shooting as they are 22nd in the league with 76.2%.
Despite the fact that the Cavs front office is building this team for the future, the results came right away. Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen made their first All-Star appearances this season.
The 22-year-old Garland is leading the team with 21.2 points per game which puts him among the top 25 scorers in the league. He is also averaging 8.3 assists per game, the sixth-best in the league.
Jarrett Allen is averaging a double-double with 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
Veteran Kevin Love has also been productive this season after having a tough time last year. Lauri Markannen is playing well when healthy just as Cedi Osman.
Los Angeles Lakers
Many thought that the Los Angeles Lakers are going through some type of crisis but no it is obvious that simply, they are not as good of a team as the names on their roster sound like.
Heads down to LeBron James who is in beast-mode at the age of 37. The King is the second-best scorer in the league this season averaging 29.7 points per game on 52.3% from the field and 36.2% from the three-point line. James also has 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
Anthony Davis has missed the majority of the season but is expected to be back by the end of the season. If he is going to play again this season depends mainly on his teammates or whether they will be able to reach the playoffs or not.
The Lakers are currently ninth in the Western Conference with a 29-39 record. The sixth place in the conference that leads straight to the playoffs is beyond the reach since the Lakers are 11 games behind the Denver Nuggets.
Frank Vogel’s team is still safe in the play-in tournament zone, but if they continue to struggle, that may be in jeopardy too.
The Lakers have lost 4 of the last 5 games, most recently 114-103 to the Toronto Raptors. They are 9-22 on the road and 2-8 in the last 10 games. The Lakers are 27th in the league allowing 113.6 points per game and are the second-worst team with 72.7% shooting from the free-throw line.
Our tip for the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Lakers game
It will be a total disaster if the Lakers fail to make it to the playoffs after all the moves they made in order to surround LeBron James with as much talent as possible in hope to win another NBA championship. James is the only consistent player on the Lakers roster and he will need his teammates to step up in this game.
The Lakers are the oldest team in the league and may have a problem with the Cavs high-paced basketball. Anyway, James will be extra motivated to perform well in the place that is still his house. Russell Westbrook needs to finally step up and provide a positive impact on the floor. The win in Cleveland may be exactly what the Lakers need to boost their confidence and LeBron James will do everything for that to happen.