NBA players debate about LeBron James’ pass to Danny Green in Game 5 loss
Los Angeles Lakers fans certainly had their butts clenched down the stretch in Game 5 against the Miami Heat. Down one with 16 seconds remaining, the Purple and Gold had a golden opportunity to clinch the 2020 NBA title with a made bucket in the closing seconds.
On the play, LeBron James penetrated to the bucket and made the Heat defense collapse on him in the paint. As he has always done throughout his Hall-of-Fame career, the four-time MVP made the right play and kicked it out to a wide open Danny Green for a top of the arc triple.
Unfortunately, the 3-and-D Lakers guard, who has been struggling with his shot throughout the playoffs, bricked the front of the rim. Markieff Morris luckily secured the extra possession, but he threw the ball out of bounds to keep Miami alive in this best-of-7 series.
After the Lakers’ 111-108 loss, social media debated on whether James should have taken the championship-winning shot himself instead of passing it to Green. Several NBA players, likewise, chimed in to share their thoughts. Majority of them agreed that The King made the correct play and had no issues with him giving up the heavily contested shot in the paint for a wide open triple.
Lebron is a genius when it comes to this game. Stop playing with him.
Y’all sorry ass fools who would have shot the ball. Always Be the one waiting next..
— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) October 10, 2020
That was a good pass to a WIDE open 3 point shooter…if yall say otherwise yall shouldn’t be talking basketball
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) October 10, 2020
Lebron 100 percent made the correct play… now, everybody would rather see Bron shoot the game winner than pass it lol but fact of the matter is he made 4 guys collapse and he hit DG for a wide open 3
— Tyus Jones (@1Tyus) October 10, 2020
Nobody's fault. Great pass, great shot, just missed. Don't let the miss take away from giving the Heat their props though!!
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) October 10, 2020
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) October 10, 2020
On the other, ESPN analyst and former player Jay Williams was among the few who believed LeBron James should have taken the shot no matter the circumstances.
Yes Danny Green was open but I don’t care what no one says… Bron needed to shoot that shot. PERIOD.
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) October 10, 2020
Williams’ two-cents generated a vehement response from his fellow ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins.
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) October 10, 2020
Many casual fans on Twitter also echoed Williams’ thoughts. Some argue that Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant would have taken the shot. However, some of them may have forgotten the MJ passed the ball to John Paxson and Steve Kerr in two of Chicago’s championships in the 1990’s. Meanwhile, Bryant also gave up the ball to Derek Fisher and Ron Artest in the Lakers’ back-to-back title wins in 2009 and 2010.
LeBron James certainly made the right read on that play. Unfortunately, Green just missed the shot.
Nonetheless, the Lakers are still up 3-2 in this Finals series. Los Angeles has another chance to close out Miami when Game 6 tips off on Sunday.