Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
This Game is like an NBA fans wet dream! Just couldnt ask for more in this possible NBA Finals preview between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. First off you have the inevitable passing of the torch between NBA greats Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Although Kobe is still considered the best player in the world, LeBron keeps improving his Game by leaps and bounds showing everyone that sooner rather than later LeBron will be the next best player in the NBA and the world.
It is no secret that this season King James has stepped up his Game by becoming just as dominant on defense as he is on offense. Just when you thought this kid couldnt get any better, he becomes a legit candidate for both the NBA MVP and Defensive player of the year in a season that is shaping up to be the best in his NBA career thus far.
As for Kobe Bryant, he finally has the LAker team around him that he has always wanted. With total confidence in his teammates for the first time since the championship years with Shaq, Kobe seems completely comfortable trusting his all star caliber teammates to get the job done night in and night out. With the Lakers showing obvious signs of weakness in their defense during the NBA Finals last season against the Boston Celtics, Kobe and company have come out this season on a mission to prove that they can be dominant on both sides of the floor.
As a result of Kobes new found confidence playing alongside Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and LAmar Odom the reigning MVP hasnt had to do everything on floor like in years past where the Lakers had struggled just to get the 8th seed in the West. With Kobes role players stepping up and playing with great team chemistry the Los Angeles Lakers are the best team in the Western Conference and quite possibly the best in the NBA.
Coming into this Game the Lakers have stumbled a little bit by dropping a couple Games in a row to the San Antonio Spurs and the Orlando Magic. Even though both of Games will just be considered losses for the Lakers, they put up one hell of a fight taking both teams to the limit as both Games ended with last second shots.
The Cavs on the other hand have been just as impressive as the Lakers this season by being unbeatable at home with 20-0 record in Cleveland and eclipsing the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics as best in the Eastern Conference with an MVP caliber season from LeBron.
The keys to this Game will be Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Who ever is able to play his Game and dictate the Game will be the winner. Last season LeBron had the edge in this match up, but Im sure Kobe hasnt forgotten and will be looking for a little bit of redemption.
One problem for both teams is their injuries. The Lakers are a little thin on their bench with Jordan Farmar out for at least another month and the Cavs just suffered a pretty big blow with Delonte West going down with a broken wrist which will keep him out of the lineup for the next six weeks or so.
Although West and Farmar arent huge contributors like say Pau Gasol or Mo Williams for the Lakers and Cavs, they still affect the rotation and the wear and tear on the starters. Derek Fisher has been playing more minutes in Farmars absence and as a result has been less affective on the defensive end of the floor. The Cavs havent struggled that much just yet with West being out as Sasha Pavlovic has stepped up and has filled the void with West out.
The Lakers are coming off two heartbreaking losses, but that should be all the motivation this team needs to put the breaks on LeBron and company. This Game will probably go down the wire once again for the Lakers.
With this being the most likely NBA Finals match up to this point in the season, Kobe and LeBron will be battling for bragging rights and will be looking to prove that their team is better. This Game has the makings of an NBA classic!
Our number on the Game is the Lakers by 2.5 so we’ll grab the +4.5 with the Cavs here. Our Selection Cavs +4.5
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