LeBron James needs to be better in crunch time
After Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs in the second round, many people considered LeBron to still be the best player in the NBA. He’s also the second oldest player left in the postseason, and the 10th oldest player to appear in a game this season.
The Lakers rely on LeBron plenty. Nevertheless, they need him to not show his age, prove the aforementioned people correct, and play like the best player on the planet — primarily in crunch time.
On the daily Locked On Lakers Podcast, host Anthony Irwin and Pete Zayas (LakerFilmRoom) discuss his disappointing play at the end of games and how the Lakers can get LeBron James going.
Anthony Irwin: This is the worst I’ve seen LeBron look in big moments consistently with the basketball, overhead his entire career. This is where I get kind of annoyed as an analyst because there isn’t much that we can really say. In order for LeBron to get going, he needs to take and make jumpers off the dribble.
Pete Zayas: That shot is there whenever he wants it and he just does not feel good with his jumper right now at all… He got to the line a couple of times out of the post when we cleared out one side and gave him a triple threat touch from the elbow. That’s an adjustment that I think we can make where LeBron can be really impactful still in attacking the basket without having trust for that three-ball. However, it makes it harder to play Dwight Howard. It makes it harder to play a guy that can’t space the floor, the less shooting that you have out there the more difficult that is.
He’s going to have to make jumpers, that’s always been the case. I thought this was going to be something that would show up against the Clippers because they defended the Lakers in a similar way that the Nuggets have, sagging off of LeBron specifically. LeBron just has to make them pay those shots are there whenever he wants them
Anthony: Yeah, the problem is he doesn’t want them. I think that they’re there whenever he wants, he just doesn’t want to shoot it.