The Los Angeles Lakers came crashing back down to earth on Wednesday as a 20-21 Orlando Magic team snapped their nine-game winning streak. The team has been looking just fine with Anthony Davis out, but Wednesday was a reminder that they do have big weaknesses when he’s not on the court.
Despite accumulating 19 assists, LeBron James had one of his weakest showings of the season as he went 7-19 for only 19 points. This gave noted LeBron-hater Skip Bayless plenty of ammo when he went after the superstar on Undisputed.
“[LeBron] last night didn’t exactly help his MVP case, once again, without Anthony Davis,” Bayless said on Thursday. “He continued to close my longtime case that he is just not a closer… once again, I saw no clutch gene from LeBron James in the fourth quarter.”
The Lakers lost the game by a single point and LeBron didn’t come to save the day in the end, which is apparently pretty damning to Bayless.
“Yes, he did tie his career-high in assist… so I’m gonna give him that. But he once again stunk up another fourth quarter that his team needed him to take over.”
It’s true that the fourth-quarter in the game against the Magic was far from LeBron’s most impressive, but one game during the regular season isn’t exactly the highest stakes. He’s proven time and time again that he has the ability to take over games when it matters most.
There was one moment that Bayless hammered LeBron particularly hard on and that was when he missed a dunk badly. It doesn’t happen often to a player like LeBron, but when it does, it’s bound to become a story. The missed dunk became a contentious talking point for Bayless and Sharpe.
“I gotta go back to that missed dunk because that was all-time embarrassing,” Bayless said.
“[Michael] Jordan never missed a dunk?” Sharpe asked in reply.
“I don’t think Jordan even got blocked by the rim on a dunk,” answered Bayless. “He might have missed it hard, hard off the back iron.”
Bayless doubled down despite Sharpe questioning his facts and the former NFL tight end called to the internet to prove Bayless wrong.
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Sharpe Gets Last Laugh
Bayless seemed confident in his belief that Jordan had never missed a dunk, but Sharpe quickly released a video that proved his co-host wrong.
Regardless of whether or not Jordan also missed a dunk is irrelevant, however. While LeBron’s missed dunk was definitely embarrassing, it’s happened to all the greats. And one missed dunk and one bad game doesn’t discount the fact that LeBron has been playing like a serious MVP candidate all season. The Lakers have been one of the worst teams in the NBA for several years now and he deserves a ton of credit for helping turn things around. Yes, the team struggled last season before Anthony Davis came to town, but the situation was doomed to fail from the beginning.