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LeBron James’ Presence Keeps Jamal Crawford from Picking Denver Nuggets as the Winners of First Round

Prateek Singh

LeBron James' Presence Keeps Jamal Crawford from Picking Denver Nuggets as the Winners of First Round

The Lakers’ playoff campaign is off to a disappointing start. They have lost the first two games of the series against the Nuggets and are now headed back to Arena for the third game. While a majority of analysts and NBA pundits have already discounted the LA franchise from the first-round series, TNT’s Jamal Crawford is still keeping his hopes alive for the team, simply because of LeBron James.

During a recent appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, the 44-year-old said that he is not yet willing to write off the Lakers because anything can happen when you have King James on your squad. Crawford said that even though the Lakers blew off their lead in both games, there was a silver lining in Game 2. Similar to what Shannon Sharpe had to say about the team combination, Crawford believes that along with LeBron and Anthony Davis, the other guys on the court will have to step up to the plate if they wish to beat the Nuggets.

As for their chances of going deeper into the season, Crawford said, “As long as you have LeBron James on the team, you have a chance. Like when I saw the difference between Game 1 and Game 2, it’s when game one, the Lakers had the lead and it evaporated like that…The second game, it was different, because the other guys stepped up first.”

Crawford pointed out that in the second game, the team was more focused on getting Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, and the team’s role players involved in the game by letting them take more shots. This allowed AD and LeBron to ease into the scoring later on.

Even though Crawford sounds optimistic about the Lakers’ chances of getting past the Nuggets, other notable people, like Paul Pierce, have been very dismissive of this. Going by what we have seen so far in two games, it’s highly unlikely that the Nuggets would allow the Lakers to take control. However, there is one positive sign for them, the next game is going to be a home game for the Lakers.

The Lakers would have to defend home court to have a realistic chance of extending the series. However, if past instances are anything to go by, the Nuggets would be visiting LA, looking for a 11-0 winning streak against the NBA’s most winningest franchise. The only hope for the Lakers, as Crawford pointed out, is the greatness of LeBron James.

James Worthy wasn’t pleased by the Lakers performance in Game 2

One of the biggest issues with the Lakers this postseason has been their lack of competitiveness. According to several analysts of the game, the LA unit lacks killer instinct and that’s stopping them from presenting a strong enough competition against the Nuggets. After the Game 2 loss, James Worthy said, “[The Lakers] just lacked killer instinct, frivolous, unprofessional basketball plays in the playoffs of the second game of a team that has your number.”

Arguably the biggest critic of LeBron, Skip Bayless has said in the past that he believes that LBJ lacks the killer instinct that Michael Jordan and the late, great Kobe Bryant had in them. Bayless had further added in his tirade, “He just doesn’t have the clutch gene…Would Michael have made that shot? I know so.”

It will be interesting to see how King James and AD respond to the criticism at home.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Prateek Singh

Prateek Singh


Prateek is a Senior NBA Writer for The SportsRush. He has over 900 published articles under his name. Prateek merged his passion for writing and his love for the sport of basketball to make a career out of it. Other than basketball, he is also an ardent follower of the UFC and soccer. Apart from the world of sports, he has followed hip-hop religiously and often writes about the origins, evolution, and the biggest stars of the music genre.

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