Skip on LeBron: ‘He used to be the driving force on both ends of the floor, and he’s not that guy anymore’

Reflecting on the Cleveland Cavaliers' 4th straight loss, Skip Bayless highlights to Shannon Sharpe that LeBron James' defense is critical problem for the slumping Cavs.

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- So you give up 32 points in the fourth quarter on your floor, you're probably going to lose. It's way too many points. Because they can't back up this on the defensive end.

SHANNON SHARPE: Correct.

- This still works. Trust me. I mean, they couldn't keep LeBron from the rim in the fourth quarter. What did he have-- like 14 in the fourth quarter? So he was doing his thing in the fourth quarter on one end of the floor.

I'm going to say it again. At his advancing age, he doesn't commit to the defensive end the way he used to be able to. You made the point yesterday-- the back injury a couple of years back. He can't get in the chair position the way he used to. But he doesn't ignite the defense. He doesn't spearhead it.

You know, like, he used to be the driving force on both ends of the floor. And he's not that guy anymore. And they're all half-hearted, and they're kind of looking at each other. And it reminds me a little bit of the Patriots in the first four games this year, where you just look lost on defense. Shooters are just running loose, and you're not running out to challenge the three-point line.

SHANNON SHARPE: Run them off the line.

- You have to run them off the line. You have to get in their face. Nobody's running anybody off anything.

The Pacers were getting whatever they wanted on offense from the three-point line or Sabonis, who's actually playing big, the way he didn't used to in Oklahoma City.

SHANNON SHARPE: Looked like his dad last night.

- He looked like his dad. He was dominating the paint last night. So it's on the defensive end that is the first problem, and is going to be the foremost problem. And I'm going to say it again. They wound up 22nd in defensive efficiency last regular season. Didn't hurt them in the playoffs until they got to Golden State.

And you can say, well, Golden State added that big seven-foot monster. I got that. But still, now they have fallen to the worst in the east in defensive efficiency, and only one notch ahead of Dallas in the NBA. Well, that's not acceptable. You're not going to win that way.

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