The Los Angeles Lakers have upgraded LeBron James to a gametime for their matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, head coach Frank Vogel said at shootaround. James was previously listed as questionable, and has been sidelined the last two games with ankle soreness.
In recent years, the Lakers probably wouldn’t have sweat a game against Cleveland without James, but the Cavs actually look like a cohesive basketball team this year. Through five games, they have posted a 3-2 record.
The Lakers are also coming off of a game in which they blew a 30-point lead to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have the worst record in the Western Conference. On one hand, they built a 30-point lead with James sidelined; but on the other hand, they let Darius Bazley drop 20 on their heads. Suffice to say, they’re going through some stuff and James, if healthy, would mask some of their problems, especially on the wing.
If James can’t give it a go against his former team, expect Frank Vogel to roll with the same starters from last game: Russell Westbrook, Malik Monk, Kent Bazemore, Anthony Davis and DeAndre Jordan. Davis was a game-time decision on Wednesday, but he looked completely fine once the ball tipped off. In 36:34 against the Thunder, Davis tallied 30 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
Davis and Westbrook should be enough to keep things interesting for for the Lakers on Friday, but with the way things have gone as of late, it’s hard to say for sure. With or without James, we’ll just have to wait and see which team shows up on Friday: the team that led by 30 points, or the team that folded.
The Lakers and Cavaliers will tip-off on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT.
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