LeBron James looked a lot more like the LeBron James we know in Cleveland Cavaliers' second NBA game of the season, guiding his team past Chicago Bulls in overtime courtesy an impressive all-round effort.
James, after struggling on his homecoming game at Cleveland against the New York Knicks, bounced back in style with 36 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 114-108 win over Chicago.
After the much-needed win on Friday night, James revealed the bouncebackability shown by his team had come thanks largely to a talking-to given by coach David Blatt, who made his displeasure clear over the performance in the opening game against the Knicks.
"He just got on us," James said when asked about what Blatt said in the meeting. "He got on us from the time we started our meeting to the time we left. And it's great.
"For a team like us, we need that. I love constructive criticism. I never took it personal. It's just an opportunity for us to get better, and it definitely put a fire into us."
Blatt also admitted to being satisfied at his team's response. "You all [media] are such nice people, I'm so happy you weren't in the morning meeting today because your opinion of me might be vastly different right now," Blatt said on Friday.
"But we cleaned some things up, and the guys responded beautifully and we played a great game."
If James has a similar game to the one against the Bulls, where he scored the Cleveland Cavaliers' first eight points in overtime, then the Portland Trail Blazers will have a tough time in picking up their second win of the season.
James has a terrific record against the Portland Trail Blazers, who have only made a 1-2 start to the season, after losing to the Golden State Warriors 95-90 on Sunday.
While one of their main men LaMarcus Aldridge had a strong night with 26 points and 13 rebounds, the same cannot be said of Damian Lillard, who is averaging only 13.7 points per game this season. The guard could miss the heavyweight battle against the Cleveland Cavaliers after being listed as probable due to an abdominal strain.
Even if Lillard has not been at his best, the Portland Trail Blazers will certainly hope their star man makes it to the court, as the Cleveland Cavaliers are otherwise likely to take full advantage of his absence.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 10 pm ET (8.30 am IST, 3 am GMT) start with live coverage in India on Sony Six. Viewers in the USA can catch the game on NBA TV, while UK viewers can watch the match on BT Sport.
All the NBA action can be watched via live streaming online on NBA Online. UK viewers can live stream the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Portland Trail Blazers game on BT Sport Online Player or
Watch BT Sport.