LeBron returns to Cleveland tonight for the first time since his well-publicized move to LA. But how have both teams been faring since King James made the switch?
LA are starting to hit their stride, having won their last 5 games. They currently sit in 3rd place in the Pacific division and 8th in the Western Conference. However, LeBron is starting to show his mark and the Lakers will be expected to climb those rankings in the coming weeks. In the last game, James scored 51 points in just 38 minutes, as LA beat another of his former teams, Miami Heat, 113-97. It’s not all great news for the Lakers, though, as they still look inferior to conference favorites Golden State Warriors. The affect of LeBron is already showing, however, as LA Lakers are performing a lot better than last season, where they finished 11th in the conference with a win percentage under 50%. A big win over Cleveland tonight would show the importance of having LeBron in the team.
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Cleveland’s form this year is in drastic contrast to last season where they managed a respectable 4th place in the Eastern Conference. This year, so far, they have already lost their coach as they have slumped to the bottom of their conference, having won just 2 in 15 at this stage. The Cavs have not won away from home since April, when they defeated the New York Knicks. Tyronn Lue was sacked as head coach after losing the first 6 games of the season, and his replacement, Larry Drew, is not doing much better. On top of all this, Kevin Love, who signed a huge contract extension after James left, is missing through injury and needs an operation on his foot. Life after LeBron is pretty dismal for the Cavs right now, and with LA Lakers starting to find real form, it could be about to get a whole lot worse.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Lakers Tips
LA Lakers to win (1/6)
LeBron 30+ points and Lakers to win (2/1)
LA Lakers -9 handicap (10/11)