Our event of the day is the NBA fixture between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Staples Center. The Lakers are trying to keep in the mix while their star, LeBron James, recovers from a groin injury sustained on Christmas Day. However, they are 1-2 since then and simply do not have a player who can replace Lebron. Meanwhile, the Thunder are 3rd in the Western Conference, enjoying strong seasons from Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Despite a recent downturn to end December, they are still a force to be reckoned with. Be sure you don’t miss what is expected to be an exciting match. The Lakers have revealed how much they rely on LeBron. Since the 34-year-old superstar left the floor with a groin injury during the Christmas Day win over the Warriors, his team has gone 1-2 in their subsequent three games.
Despite bouncing back in the fourth period to beat the Kings by seven on Sunday, a two-game slide prior to that against the Kings and Clippers have left the Lakers in sixth in the Western Conference. The Lakers have plenty of talent but no-one can fill the hole left by King James. Kyle Kumza, the Lakers’ next best scorer, averages 8.6 points per game less than Lebron, who is the only Laker averaging over 20 points per game. While they are managing their best without LeBron, the longer he is off the floor; the more they will struggle. Meanwhile, despite only winning two of their last five games, the Thunder sit in 3rd in the West. 8-year veteran Paul George has cemented himself as a leader of the team. He leads the team with 26.4 points per game, Meanwhile, his teammate Russell Westbrook continues to play well, averaging 21 points per game while providing invaluable assists for the team. Westbrook also continues to be a defensive force, with 9.4 defensive rebounds a game and 2.8 steals. Historically, the Lakers and Thunder have had a close rivalry, though the Lakers enter tonight’s game on a two-game winning streak over the Thunder. However, questions remain about how effectively the Lakers can perform against this strong Thunder team without LeBron. Whatever happens, these are two teams hungry for success for this season, so expect an exciting and hard-fought game in LA today.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Premier League, where Newcastle United host Manchester United. Newcastle are struggling this season and find themselves in 15th, with only four wins after twenty games. They welcome Manchester United to St James’ Park on a three-game winless streak. Meanwhile, Manchester United have blossomed under the management of former player Ole Gunnar Solskjær. They have won their last three games, scoring 12 goals in those 3 games. Parting ways with Jose Mourinho may have saved Manchester United’s season. Be sure you don’t miss it as Manchester United continue to shake off their slow start to the season. Elsewhere, in the Women’s Big Bash League, the Sydney Thunder face the Sydney Sixers at the Spotless Stadium. In the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings host the Calgary Flames at the Little Caesars Arena. On the WTA Tour, the Brisbane International continues at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NBA
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