via Imago

via Imago

The Los Angeles Lakers are very close to repeating history. Entering Monday’s Game 2 at the Ball Arena, the Lakers had the chance to not only break the series record but also swing the entire series. They were up by as many as 20 points in the third quarter. And a win would have given them a home-court advantage. This in turn could have ended the losing streak against Denver, since the Lakers are an impressive 28-14 at home this season. But that’s not what happened. The Lakers lost again. By just two points this time.

But if the Lakers are to win the next one, the former Golden State Warriors coach believes James must ball all 48 minutes during this crucial series against Denver. In a recent episode of The Mark Jackson Show, Jackson said, “To whom much is given, much is required; I can’t afford to give you a breather. Finish this ball game, finish the assignment, and I’ll give you all the rest you want tomorrow.”

USA Today via Reuters

This is precisely what Lakers head coach Darvin Ham did during Game 2. With 3:44 remaining in the third quarter, James went to the bench for his usual second-half rest. But Ham only allowed him one minute of reprieve before re-inserting him in the game. This left James visibly exhausted for the most important minutes of the game—the fourth quarter, when Nikola Jokic takes his rest.


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Shannon Sharpe calls out LeBron James for his late-game mishap

LeBron James did his best to keep the team afloat in the fourth quarter with his timely three-pointers and a layup that put the team ahead. However, it was his three-point attempt in the final moments that flipped the script on Monday. With 13 seconds left, James shook off Kentavious Caldwell Pope and attempted a shot from beyond the arc instead of driving to the rim.

Unfortunately, the shot did not fall. Even worse, it fell into Denver’s hands. Jamal Murray made the most of it as he drilled the game-winning buzzer-beater to lead the Nuggets to a 101-99 victory.

NFL legend Shannon Sharpe did not mince his words as he criticized James for his final three-point shot. “There is a six-second differential on the shot clock and the game clock. Why would LeBron take a shot with 13 seconds left on the clock? You still have seven seconds to play. You want to give them as little time on the clock as you possibly can; why would you shoot that shot?” said Sharpe on Nightcap.