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LeBron James: the star of Critics of Lakers after the loss of Magic does not UNDERSTAND | Other | Sport

But those who criticized their decisions at the end of the game do not "understand" their approach to basketball.

That is the verdict of ESPN analyst Dave McMenamin.

The writer declared in the wake of the Lakers' defeat, in which he failed to score once in the 2:24 finals at the Staples Center, that the team's failures were more important than LeBron's final choices.

That was after the 33-year-old tested a disputed three-point rebound on the penultimate possession of the Lakers before moving on to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for an open look at the three that the guard could not see when LeBron had the ball in the paint.

LeBron, explaining his decision to approve instead of taking a draw, simply said: "I had a good shot, but he had a great shot."

But Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless said LeBron decided not to drive to the basket while in the custody of Eric Gordon because he did not trust himself in the free throw line at the end of the game.

Bayless stated: "James chooses not to drive the basketball, he's just the best ball driver, the best ball attacker I've seen in all my years, and he chooses to step back and shoot a three points that he misses a lot

"What are you doing? Take it to the basket, maybe get the foul, and take both free throws."

But McMenamin insists that no one should be surprised by the 33-year-old's instinct to move on to his teammate instead of going alone, because it's not the first time.

And he insists that LeBron should not be so guilty.

McMenamin told The Jump on ESPN: "He was involved in the team's failures, I'll say it. It's not like he's exempt from any mistakes in his loss.

"If you want to point out that Terrence Ross ruined him in defense, yes, that was bad defensive possession for him."

"But criticizing him for finding an open shooter is not understanding how he approaches a basketball game."

"He did this with Donyell Marshall when he played for the Cavs, he did it with Udonis Haslem when he played for the Heat.

"This is what he does, he's not going to force a shot, if he wants him to force a shot, then he can not be angry with step three back he took in the previous possession because he guesses what, he can also make that shot.

"He did it to finish the second quarter last night, he did it to beat the Knicks over Kristaps Porzingis at Madison Square Garden last year.

"I feel that whatever he does, there will be a certain level of backsliding or people who do not understand it.

"But you have to agree with that because he has approached the game that way for 16 years and he has done quite well."

Coach Luke Walton also defended LeBron, saying: "We live with them. We absolutely live with those. KCP is one of our best shooters, LeBron James is one of the best finalists that our game has had.

"If you open your eyes, let's take that." That's not why we lost the game.

"We reached them and you can find a way to get the game back, but it was the second and third quarter that we lost."

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