Yahoo Sports
Photo: Yahoo Sports

The hardwood squeaks as players cut to the hole. Fans cheer and t-shirts fly from pressurized tubes up to the middle rows. The 2018-19 NBA season is finally in full effect. We’ve already seen some great games and questions that were bouncing around in our heads during preseason are starting to get some answers. Are the Lakers really worthy of being 5th in line on the betting odds boards to win the Title? Are the Warriors going to continue their sheer domination? Is Kahwi all-in over in Toronto?

With so many states rapidly moving towards sports betting legalization, it is getting easier than ever to throw down a few bucks on our favorite teams. But, if you plan on placing some action online this NBA season, make sure that you are using a trusted outlet; this BetOnline Review is a good place to start.

Lakers Update

Before LeBron was actually signed by the Los Angeles Lakers, LA’s odds to win the NBA Championship suddenly jumped from the bottom two-thirds of the league all the way up to the top five at some online shops. For those of us who were paying attention, we knew exactly where LeBron was heading weeks beforehand.

Along with the shorter odds to win the Title, the Lakers were also given a season wins total that encroaches on a 50-win season. But wait … the Lakers have dropped their first three games. Welcome to the left coast LeBron. Where top teams in the East wouldn’t even make the playoffs in the West in a few of the seasons over the last five or so years.

Despite being great, LeBron isn’t always easy to have as a teammate. Especially as a new teammate. There is no doubt that King James will take the Lakers to new heights, but we’ve seen this before. Back when James moved from Cleveland over to the Heat, they didn’t start horribly, but the first 20 games by no means dominated. The Heat went 12-8 in that stretch and had a hard time covering the point spreads. They picked it up over the next ten games only dropping one, putting the Miami Heat at 21-9 over their first 30 with LeBron.

When King James popped back over to the Cavaliers in 2014, the world expected Cleveland to come out on fire. That was not the case, they lost seven of the first 20 and finished the first 30 games with a record of 18-12. This is well above .500, but it isn’t gang-busting domination of their opponents.

Sky Sports
Photo: Sky Sports

What About the 2018-19 Lakers?

Discerning fans should have seen this coming. The Cavaliers of 2014 and the Heat of 2010 were as green around the edges as this young Lakers team. There are going to be miscues and emotional mistakes. Then, there is the simple fact that when you play with a guy like LeBron, you are likely going to have to adjust your own playing style…which takes some time to get used to.

The Lakers can score. We’ve seen that already. They have put up 115 or more in each game to-date. But despite efforts to stem the leaking sieve that is the Lakers defense, even Rondo and James haven’t been able to stymie the flow. Each game so far, the New-Look Lakers have allowed 124 points or more. The Spurs put up a whopping 143 points on the Lakers in LA’s disappointing one-point loss.

The Lakers are scoring too well to go on losing forever. However, they will continue to struggle against teams that play great defense. LA probably won’t have the 30-game record that the 2010 Heat or 2014 Cavs did, but they should be tough beat by the second half of the season.