After five seasons without reaching the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping LeBron James' arrival can finally ensure a post-season return.
The four-time MVP swapped his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for LA in July, instantly turning the Lakers from an afterthought into contenders.
That is because the 33-year-old has been to eight successive Finals, and nine overall, as both the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat have benefitted from having James on the court.
With the help of Opta, we take a look at how teams fared in the season before LeBron arrived, and how they performed in their first campaign with him on the roster.
Cleveland Cavaliers 2002-03 and 2003-04
Few players had garnered as much pre-draft buzz as James did when he decided to forgo college and enter the NBA in 2003.
The Ohio native was taken by a Cavs team that had the first overall pick and had produced a 17-65 record the season before.
Cleveland improved to 35-47 in James' rookie campaign whereas there were marginal gains in a number of other categories at both ends of the court. They averaged 1.5 more points per game, allowed an average of 5.5 points fewer and had more assists and rebounds.
Miami Heat 2009-10 and 2010-11
James famously took his "talents to South Beach" in 2010, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form the Big Three, which led Miami to the Finals in each of their four years together.
Miami had gone 47-35 in 2009-10 and were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. Their record improved to 58-24 in James' first term, their points per game increased by 5.6 to a whopping 102.1 and their three-point percentage also improved by 2.4 per cent.
However, owing to Wade and Bosh's presence, James actually contributed three fewer points per game on average.
Cleveland Cavaliers 2013-14 and 2014-15
Having won two titles in Miami, James returned 'home' in 2014 and had a huge impact on a Cavs team that had not made the playoffs in his four years away.
Cleveland had 20 more wins in James' first campaign back and having allowed 101.5 points per game in 2013-14, James' arrival helped reduce that figure to 98.7 the following season.
James' average points-per-game dropped again – from 27.1 in his last season with Miami to 25.3 – yet he averaged 7.4 assists per game – up 1.1 from the previous term.
Los Angeles Lakers 2017-18 and 2018-19
A youthful Lakers team compiled a 35-47 record in 2017-18 and gave up 109.6 points per game despite accumulating an average of 108.1 points offensively.
Their field-goal percentage (46.1) was lower than James' personal figure with the Cavs last season (54.2), while LeBron also made 36.7 per cent of the three-pointers he attempted, compared to the Lakers' collective total of 34.5 per cent.
The likes of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma will also be heartened by the fact James averaged 9.1 assists last season as the Lakers seek to end their five-year playoff drought.
|There are always imbeciles – Bonucci hits back at fans after frosty San Siro reception|
|Portugal draw ´a step forward´ despite poor finishing – Mancini|
|Ireland were just too good - Read|
|Thomas at the double as France end losing streak|
|Albania 0 Scotland 4: Forrest double sets up promotion showdown|
|Italy 0 Portugal 0: European champions outplayed but secure Finals spot|
|Sensational Djokovic marches into final|
|Stander lauds Ireland´s ´unreal´ defence as All Blacks are thwarted|
|Dazzling Ireland claim historic All Blacks scalp in Dublin|
|Federer unimpressed with Zverev boos|
|Let´s get it on! Cheika relishing England clash|
|Croatia coach Dalic to speak with Lovren over Ramos remarks|
|Xhaka puts improved form down to ´freak´ Emery|
|De Gea not lacking confidence, says Spain´s Saul|
|Jordan goalkeeper scores from own penalty area in friendly against India|
|Pollard leads Springboks to Murrayfield victory|
|Fired-up Japan taught England a great lesson - Jones|
|Sarries leave it late to down Sale, Bath and Saints win|
|O´Shea fumes at disallowed Italy try|
|Southgate welcomes England selection quandary|
|Reaching Rooney´s England goals record ´definitely possible´ – Kane|
|Debut try for Cokanasiga as England rally to avoid Japan upset|
|Wembley will galvanise ´tired´ Croatia, insists Dalic|
|Zverev apologises for tie-break controversy amid O2 Arena heckles|
|Marquez happy with fifth after damaging shoulder in Valencia|
|Wales crush Tonga in Cardiff|
|Germany should keep faith in old guard - Bierhoff|
|Injured Lukaku to miss Belgium´s Nations League decider|
|Zverev knocks out Federer to reach maiden ATP Finals showpiece|
|Koroibete double maintains Australia´s 100 per cent record against Italy|
|Juventus´ Khedira sprains ankle in training|
|Van Dijk: Ramos is not my type of defender|
|Vinales grabs Valencia pole as Marquez crashes|
|I don´t deserve Ballon d´Or, Mbappe does – Hazard|
|Reed and Willett share lead in Dubai|
|Romagnoli joins long AC Milan injury list|
|Williamson steadies Black Caps after Boult heroics|
|Griezmann targets swift French response against Uruguay|
|Havertz´s future lies with Bayer Leverkusen – sporting director Boldt|
|Socceroos boss Arnold excited for future|
|South Africa triumph on Gold Coast in truncated T20 clash|
|Germany without Draxler for Netherlands game|
|Barcelona confirm Rakitic hamstring injury|
|Rain halts England´s post-tea flourish|
|Australia 1 South Korea 1: Luongo seals late draw for Socceroos|
|Irving thrives on ´peace´ of being in the zone|
|Lloris admits France could have lost by more|
|Dybala impressed by Argentina´s improved spirit|
|Arsenal chief confirms Super League talks|
|Hooker knocks out Saucedo to retain WBO strap|
|NBA wrap: Kyrie Irving sizzles as Celtics beat Raptors in overtime|
|Jimmy Butler aims dig at Timberwolves following 76ers home debut|
|Koeman surprised by dominant Netherlands|
|Southgate rallies England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Chile 2 Costa Rica 3: Waston brace sinks La Roja|
|Tite inspired by Guardiola´s City|
|Argentina 2 Mexico 0: Funes Mori´s header helps to sink El Tri|
|Lovren ready for ´fiery´ England clash|
|Brazil captain Neymar pleased with stern Uruguay test|
|Ravens´ Flacco doubtful, Jackson could start|
|Richarlison: I want to be at the Copa America|
|Tabarez buoyed by inexperienced Uruguay|
|Howell fires 64 again to extend RSM Classic lead|
|I´m proud of them - Giggs still upbeat despite Denmark defeat|
|Mancini ´very sorry´ for Ronaldo absence|
|Neymar clinches anything-but-friendly win for Brazil over Uruguay|
|Cipriani-inspired Gloucester thrash Tigers|
|Djokovic makes it three wins from three at ATP Finals|
|Germany relegated from Nations League top tier to cap miserable 2018|
|Fulham will back Ranieri in January transfer window if required|