“LeBron Is LeBron”: Shannon Sharpe Has 1 Requirement For The Lakers Going Into The Postseason

"LeBron Is LeBron": Shannon Sharpe Has 1 Requirement For The Lakers Going Into The Postseason

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a 116-97 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers and leapfrogged the Kings to claim the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings.

Sacramento can reclaim the position if they beat the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, but the Lakers’ ascent, even if temporary, should boost their morale after being stuck in the ninth spot for nearly a month.

LA has stitched together an exceptional 9-1 run in their last ten games [per NBA.com], positioning itself to potentially climb to sixth in the table and avoid the play-in tournament completely.

The Lakers’ superstar trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and D’Angelo Russell have been in stellar form and have fueled their resurgence while Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves have also contributed heavily to make this happen.

On a recent episode of the Nightcap podcast, ESPN analyst Shannon Sharpe praised the Lakers’ starting lineup and demanded that the bench players up their game. He told co-host Gilbert Arenas,

“LeBron is LeBron. It goes without saying.

The guy is shooting 54% from the floor.

Anthony Davis is giving you 25 [points], and 13 [rebounds] basically on a nightly basis.

Rui has been sensational also… Austin Reaves is Mr. Consistent… But we are probably gonna need a little more from our bench.”

Sharpe highlighted guard Spencer Dinwiddie and forward Taurean Prince, claiming that they needed to step up and contribute to the Lakers’ cause,

“Dinwiddie has to give us a little more. Prince is gonna have to give us a little more… Those are two main bench guys.

Those guys probably need to be in double figures because you can ask your starters to go out there and score a 120 points every damn night.”

Sharpe is spot on. For the Lakers to venture deep into the playoffs, Dinwiddie and Prince have to step up and lead the second unit, something that can only happen if they play up to the level they are capable of. In the last 10 games, Dinwiddie has averaged 8.5 points, 2.1 assists, and two rebounds [per Statmuse], while Prince has put up 9.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game [Statmuse].

While those numbers aren’t bad per se, the Lakers expect more from their two most experienced bench players.



To Dinwiddie’s credit, he has come up in a big way for the team off late and was even responsible for one of the best plays of the Lakers’ season when he blocked Damian Lillard’s game-winner and helped his team secure a narrow win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Prince, on the other hand, has yet to have a signature moment or performance this season. However, there is still time for him to deliver.

The Lakers’ playoff prospects


The Lakers’ exceptional form has helped reignite their hopes of a sixth-placed finish. But, it is important to remember that they are competing with the Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans, and Sacramento Kings for the coveted spot.

So, to achieve their goal, LA needs several things to happen to win the race for the sixth seed.

For starters, the Lakers need to win all four of their remaining regular-season games to stay in contention.

However, even if they go 4-0, that still doesn’t guarantee a top-six finish.

They’ll need the Pelicans and Kings to lose at least one game, and the Suns to lose two of their remaining five matches.

While that is a lot to ask for, LA can take care of one of those scenarios as they face New Orleans in their final regular game.

The Suns and Kings are scheduled to face each other next week.

Depending on the result, they’d still need Sacramento to lose one game, Phoenix to lose another, or the Suns to lose twice in their remaining four games.

So, while the Lakers’ sixth-place dream is achievable, it is still unlikely.

Unfortunately for them, the Los Angeles Lakers will likely have to run through the play-in tournament to secure the seventh or eighth seed in the playoffs.

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