The Los Angeles Lakers host the Cleveland Cavaliers for a nationally televised showdown between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Cleveland is on a six-game losing streak, is under .500 and seems to be trapped in a cyclone of misfortune. All of these things feel familiar from a distance to Lakers fans, but we're talking about Dan Gilbert's team here.... you know.... basketball reasons.
Forgive me for enjoying watching a team featuring LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love struggle mightily. Forgive me for thinking it's wonderful watching LeBron shove his rookie head coach off the court to "keep the game going." Forgive me for thinking it's fascinating LeBron got caught telling Dwyane Wade they'd reunite and do "bigger and better things," even if they both deny it had anything to do with on-court decisions. Forgive me for thinking it's hilarious Tyronn Lue is calling timeouts without Blatt's knowledge and taking charge of the team.
For all the schadenfreude Lakers fans have endured over the last few seasons, this is something close to sweet revenge. If you trace where things started going haywire for the Lakers it undoubtedly leads to Comic-Sans Dan. Even though the Cavaliers were in flux for a few seasons, they still wound up with everything they wanted. First-overall picks galore, the return of LeBron, the Love trade and now? NOW? Sweet chaos.
The Cavaliers have been bad this season, even in the lowered-bar that is the Eastern Conference. LeBron isn't the same guy who carried the Miami Heat for years. He's not as effective around the rim, his body isn't holding up like it used to, and there's reason to be concerned about how things move forward. The man did hit 30, has piled up minutes during deep playoff runs and made a big change to his life when he dropped significant weight over the summer.
Things are spiraling out of control in Cleveland, and for once, Lakers fans get to sit back and watch another city deal with it. A Lakers win, even against a mediocre "super team," would be the cherry on top of this sundae. Enjoy the game.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT