All Eyes Wednesday On Lakers-Cavs As LeBron Returns To Cleveland

lebron james

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:26 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018 7:26 PM UTC

The biggest game of this week in the NBA is Wednesday night on ESPN as LeBron James returns to Cleveland for the first time as a Laker. Bet confident with SBRpicks.com. 

LA Lakers (9-7 SU, 6-10 ATS) at Cleveland (2-13 SU, 7-8 ATS)Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)Free NBA Pick: Lakers ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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No question that the NBA game to get the most attention this week – blowhard Stephen A. Smith will be all over the ESPN airways – is LeBron James returning to Cleveland for the first time as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers (and the only time this season) on Wednesday.

Expect the fan reaction in The Land to be much different than on Dec. 2, 2010, when James returned to the city for the first time as a member of the Miami Heat. Boos rained down on James all night as Miami rolled to a 118-90 victory behind LeBron’s 38 points. This time, the fans surely will cheer their native son because he finally brought them a championship. All has been forgiven. Plus, Cavs fans now see how truly amazing LeBron was because their team is absolutely atrocious without the King. I’m sure there will be some sort of video tribute, etc.

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Overall, LeBron played 11 seasons for Cleveland (2003-2010, 2014-2018) and is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (849), points scored (23,119), rebounds (6,190), assists (6,228), steals (1,376), field goals made (8,369), three-pointers made (1,251), free throws made (5,130) and triple-doubles (64).

It’s the second stop on LeBron’s reunion tour as he led a 113-97 victory in Miami on Sunday – his first win there since leaving that franchise. LeBron had a season-high 51 points to break a tie for the sixth-most 50-point games in league history. James has 12 in the regular season, behind Wilt Chamberlain (118), Michael Jordan (31), Kobe Bryant (25), Elgin Baylor (17) and Rick Barry (14). LeBron became the fifth player in NBA history to have a 50-point game with three different teams, joining Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Bernard King and Jamal Crawford. One player doesn’t fit on that list! (Crawford).

The Lakers have won seven of nine since a 2-5 start. Incidentally, it’s the third time that a James-led club has started 9-7 in his first season after changing teams. Happened in Miami in 2010, Cleveland in 2014 and now L.A.

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LeBron James puts up a season-high 51 PTS (19-31 FGM) in the @Lakers road W in Miami! #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/8GJ5KRdBJ9

— NBA (@NBA) November 19, 2018
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Cavs Simply Aren’t Good

Cleveland is quite clearly the NBA’s worst team right now, especially with Kevin Love out following left foot surgery. Also currently out are guard George Hill and forward Sam Dekker.

The Cavs are off a 113-92 loss in Detroit on Monday. The Cavs never led and trailed by as much as 30. That was over at the half with the Pistons ahead by 20 even though Cleveland had been off four days. Only once in the Cavs’ eight road games has their opponent scored fewer than 100 points.

About the only bright spot was rookie point guard Collin Sexton with 18 points and zero turnovers, although his plus/minus rating was -21. Since being put into the starting lineup five games ago, the No. 8 overall pick is averaging 18.6 points and 50 percent shooting. Sexton didn’t play in the fourth quarter, though, and said he was dealing with some hip pain.

In addition, the Cavs and malcontent J.R. Smith have split ways. Smith said publicly after Monday's loss that the franchise is tanking and that he wasn't interested in sticking around. Not a coincidence he said so after was shifted to a bench role and barely played Monday. Smith and the front office are working on a trade.

  • Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Cavaliers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Western Conference.

The Cavs have won four straight at home in the series, but things are just a bit different now. I’m sure LeBron wants to put on a bit of a show and ensure an easy win. Take the Lakers for a Wednesday NBA pick.

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