Sports Monks

Showtime coming back to LA?

The biggest off season move this year was by the Los Angeles Lakers. Lebron James left Cleveland for the second time to sign a 4-year deal with the Lakers. There were many other big moves which really affected the paradigm of the NBA. Kawhi Leonard after sitting out almost an entire season left Pop and the Spurs to move up north with the Raptors. Raptors franchise star Demar Derozan took his place in the Spurs lineup in exchange for Kawhi. In one of the biggest moves, 4 time All Star Demarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins joined the back-to-back Champions Golden State Warriors to complete their potential All Star lineup. He is still recovering from his Achilles injury but is expected to play in late December/January. Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Hawks and subsequently waived by them. He joined the Houston Rockets but after a mere 10 games, his game play was so poor that the Rockets waived him too. But the biggest impact of all trades till now was by, obviously, Lebron.

The Lakers already had a good young core with Ingram, Ball, Hart and Kuzma. In addition to Lebron, they added Rajon Rondo, Javale Mcgee, Lance Stephenson and recently signed veteran Tyson Chandler. The Lakers started the season 0-3 after close games where Lebron was not able to close the deal down the stretch. A couple of wins and a couple more losses left them at 3-5 in the first eight games of the season. This is the 3rd time Lebron is starting a season with a different team and he was 3-5 all three times through the first 8 games. Everyone started losing their minds and started dismissing the Lakers when Lebron James happened. Suddenly he became serious and put his team on his back and led them on an 8-2 run in the next 10 games bringing their record to 11-7. He had a huge 50pt. night in Miami and then lost tonight to the Magic to bring their record to 11-8 through the first 19 games.

Lebron James is starting with a new group and until he becomes comfortable with the players and the different dynamic in the dressing room, he will take it slowly. What we are witnessing is classic Lebron James. Historically, James has never been obsessed with the number 1 seed even when he was in the East. He starts the season slow and puts on his after-burners after the All-Star break (February). Once March and April arrive and the playoffs get in gear he switches to overdrive and is the best player on the planet for the last few months of the season.

It’s the same story here again and in the West, he knows the best seed he can get is probably 4th to secure home court advantage in Round 1. He doesn’t have drop 40 right now. He can easily conserve his energy for the playoffs because its his 16th NBA season and he has been to four straight NBA Finals. He single-handedly brought the Cavs to the NBA Finals 4 times and even won once. Everyone knows he is capable of great things and will probably take things more seriously in the 2nd half. Don’t count this Lakers team out yet, just wait until its playoff time. Whether the Lakers go to the Western Conference Finals or crash out in the 1st round, rest assured, showtime will be returning to LA come playoff time. Lebron won’t go down without a fight and when he decides, it is physically impossible to stop him. What are your predictions for the Playoffs this season?

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