The Los Angeles Lakers wrap up their four-game road trip with one of the most important stops of their season when they visit LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. No, LeBron’s free agency promise isn’t up for grabs — so we think — but the Lakers have just two direct opportunities to show King James what he could join next summer. They’ll next meet in March as the season winds down.
The Cavaliers put their slow start behind them, winning 15 of their last 16 outings despite Derrick Rose — or perhaps because Derrick Rose — being injured for almost that entire time. Cleveland has also yet to see Isaiah Thomas take the floor for their team, making it fairly remarkable that they’re still 20-8 on the year.
33-year-old LeBron James is casually averaging 28.2 points, nine assists, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, while shooting a career-high 42 percent from beyond the arc. Do we really need to say more?
OK, turns out we do.
Defending LeBron is going to be quite a challenge for Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and the rest of the Lakers that have to step up. Julius Randle bodying up LeBron is something we need to see at least a few times as well.
Kevin Love isn’t feeling the loss of Kyrie Irving, putting up similar numbers to last season despite needing to shoulder more of the responsibility. How the Lakers’ duo of Larry Nance Jr. and Randle handles the assignment will be an interesting matchup to watch as well.
Enjoy the game and the end of a solid trip away from Los Angeles for our young heroes.
Time: 5 p.m. PT
TV: TNT, FSOH