Skip Bayless offered a backhanded compliment to LeBron James for his 46-point outburst in the LA Lakers' 133-115 blowout loss against the LA Clippers. James carried the Lakers on his back throughout the game and was their only player with a response to the Clippers' hot shooting night.
They made 15 of 22 shots from the arc and 64.3% of their shots from the field in the first half alone. The Clips finished with 19 triples and 60.7% FG shooting as a team. James made a career-high nine shots from deep on 14 attempts. He ranks 153rd of 154 jump shooters on 3-pointers in efficiency this season, so this performance was a welcome sight.
Bayless reflected on the stat while declaring this game as LeBron James' best of the season during the latest episode of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, saying:
"I think the best game he's played all year because he had a rare, and I underline the word rare hot hand because he's been pathetic from three."
LeBron James' rare hot shooting night and high-scoring effort weren't enough. The Lakers succumbed to a dismal loss, with the LA Lakers' supporting cast failing to make shots again.
The LA Lakers finished with 16 of 40 triples but were only 44.2% from the field as a team compared to the Clippers' 60.7%. LA came closest to making a comeback down the stretch when they got the Clippers' 23-point lead trimmed to 10 points with six minutes left in the fourth.
However, two back-to-back turnovers and a Clippers 8-0 run at that point ended any hopes of a Lakers' comeback.
LeBron James and LA Lakers get a glimpse of how teams would defend them in the playoffs
The LA Clippers showed the LA Lakers the harsh reality of how teams would defend them in crunch situations in the playoffs. The Lakers' lack of shooting has allowed opposing teams to get into a zone and dare them to shoot from deep.
Teams have no issues letting the Lakers get open shots on many occasions. The Clippers and many other teams have used that to their advantage while playing against LeBron James and company. LA ranks dead last in makes per game (10.5) and fourth-worst in efficiency (33.8%) in 3-point shooting.
Barring a rare hot shooting night now and then, the LA Lakers don't have legitimate threats on the perimeter. It's contributed to their 22-26 record so far and will hamper them in the postseason if they make the playoffs this year without making upgrades at the trade deadline.
Considering LeBron's tremendous form, Anthony Davis' impending return and the team's overall growth in other aspects, the LA Lakers ought to be willing enough to spend assets on upgrades.
With their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley's contracts, the Lakers could go after coveted names like Bojan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield to bolster their perimeter shooting.
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