The Los Angeles Lakers went 1-1 in their two games in Florida, winning against LeBron James’ former-former team in a game in which he dropped 51 points on 19-for-31 shooting, 6-for-8 from 3 and dropping a game to the Orlando Magic.
LeBron will have a very different homecoming after his first return with a different team in December of 2010 in which he was booed every second he was on the court in a 118-90 Miami Heat win. The Cavaliers at the time fielded players like Nevada legend Ramon Sessions (Editor’s Note: Honi did not pay Kendrew to write this but he did change UNR to Nevada. Go Pack), and first team all nickname Daniel “Boobie” Gibson.
He was then viewed as someone who abandoned the city of Cleveland and betrayed everyone from the Buckeye state. But he delivered a championship to Cleveland in 2016 overcoming a 3-1 NBA finals deficit. His former teammate, George Hill, put it like this:
If you boo him, you’re an asshole.
Lebron isn’t the only one facing a familiar set of faces. Former Laker (and current Hypebeast) Jordan Clarkson and also Larry Nance Jr. will be playing against the team that drafted them. Clarkson is currently averaging 15.4 points and 3.2 rebounds, and Nance is averaging 7.2 points and 6.5 rebounds. Both of them are coming off of the bench.
Another thing to note is the NBA Champion J.R. Smith is technically no longer with this Cavaliers team, a la Carmelo Anthony. He’s still on the team but will probably be looking for a new place to play in the near future.
The Lakers are still trying to find what works best for them, as they’ll have good team wins (generally characterized as a good LeBron game) and then they will lay an absolute egg like the game against Orlando.
With Rondo still out, the backup ball handling duty fell to Brandon Ingram who handled the ball in the fourth to mixed success. Lonzo manned that duty during the second quarter, finishing the game to the tune of seven assists and only one turnover.
LeBron has been stellar this month averaging 50% from the 3-point line and is currently third in the league in dunks and steals. Hopefully, the rest of the team can step it up against a lesser opponent so they can get their 33-year-old superstar some much-needed rest.
Lakers play at Cleveland at 5:30 pm PST. You can see the game on ESPN and Spectrum SportsNet.