‘Not As Good’: Skip Bayless Blasts Los Angeles Lakers for Failing to Improve

Published 12/29/2020, 12:39 PM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and forward Anthony Davis (3) wait to enter the game against the LA Clippers in the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their second loss of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers who were super impressive on Monday night. The Lake show fell against a late surge made by Damian Lillard, and Skip Bayless feels the 2020 champions lack a player who can close out games. 

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Lillard came up big in the second half and notched up 21 points to hand Portland their second victory of the season. But the bigger picture is that the Lakers massively struggled to obtain momentum in the final quarter. 

Skip Bayless fires shots at the Los Angeles Lakers for various reasons

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The Los Angeles Lakers have two superstar players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. These two are two of the most efficient scorers in the league, yet the Lakers fell short of victory against the Blazers

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe frequently dissect NBA games on their Fox Sports show, and Bayless is never the one to refrain from criticizing the Lakers as his colleague Sharpe roots for them. 

“Your team is not as good it was last year,” Bayless began. “You got shot out of the gym, in the fourth quarter by a guy, Gary Trent Jr. who by the way in Portland’s opener at home, played a grand total, including overtime of six minutes.” 

Dec 28, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) in the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The Trail Blazers defeated the Lakers 115-107. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

He cited Trent’s performance to talk about how the Lakers have lost valuable defensive players in Danny Green and Avery Bradley. Though these guys aren’t seven-footers, they’re excellent perimeter defenders and that’s what the purple and gold lack at the moment. 

The talk about lack of defense in the Lakers’ camp was going on between Bayless and Sharpe for a while, but Bayless quickly switched topics and began taking a dig at the Lakers’ two best players. 

Anthony Davis and LeBron James aren’t good enough to close-out games?

The Lakers visibly struggled with their defense in the final quarter, and their attack wasn’t up to the mark either. Furthermore, the Lake show headed into the fourth quarter carrying a lead but ended up losing for the first time in 59 straight games where they’ve led going into the fourth. 

“So, your man Anthony Davis, you picked to be the MVP of this league this year. In the fourth quarter, he made one field goal and didn’t get to the free-throw line and scored two points. Does that work?” questioned Bayless. 

Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) reacts in the third quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Moreover, Bayless’ criticism didn’t end there, and it continued till when he also took a dig at LeBron James for not closing out games.

“So we’re back to the issue that you had last year, and you got away with it because you did it didn’t confront you enough, that is, who is the closer for this team because I don’t see a closer, sorry.”

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If the Lakers had this problem last year, they would’ve had trouble winning the championship in the first place! Do you agree with Skip Bayless on this one? Do the Lakers need a proper player who can close out games and sustain leads? 

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Arjun Athreya

1794 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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