The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers this weekend.
The first sip
The Pistons had one of their best wins of this rebuild in their last home game as they defeated the Golden State Warriors 128-114. Cade Cunningham was impressive as he finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
The schedule makers haven’t done Detroit any favors. They are in the midst of a two-and-a-half week span of playing the Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks twice, Cavs, Boston Celtics twice, and the Toronto Raptors. This stretch would be tough for any team but are especially brutal for young teams still trying to figure things out.
The Lakers are riding a two game winning streaking into tonight’s contest with Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton’s Utah Jazz. The Lakers have been somewhat more functional since convincing Russell Westbrook to come off the bench, but they are still far from a good team.
LeBron James hasn’t gotten off to the start he’s wanted. The counting stats look fine (25 points, 7.4 assists and 9 boards), but the shooting percentages look anything but for James. He’s shooting just 43.9% from the floor, 22.6% from deep and 74% from the line which has led to a 47.7 effective field goal percentage.
James just hasn’t been able to get to the rim or the line like we’ve come to expect. Only 45.3% of his attempts are at the rim, he is finishing a career low 65.2% of his looks at the rim with a career low free-throw rate of 11.7. Father time catching up to him and the abysmal roster construction can both be blamed for this.
We’ll see if the Cavs can handle business this weekend against two teams they are better than.
A nice breakdown from Thinking Basketball about how the Cavs have gotten off to their good start.
Here’s a breakdown of why Donovan Mitchell has fit in so nicely in Cleveland by Esfandier Baraheni.
Another OT loss to Cleveland: 10 takeaways from Celtics-Cavs
Links of the day
Five reasons the Lakers will get better and why it might not matter
Kevin Huerter is blossoming since arriving to Kings
James Harden strains tendon in right foot, ‘expected’ to miss 1 month