Skip Bayless on Cleveland’s lack of defense in loss against the Lakers

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In reaction to Cleveland's 127-113 loss against the Los Angeles Lakers, Skip Bayless questions the Cavaliers' defense and says it starts with LeBron James.

- Thank you for the transition to my biggest takeaway from last night, which is, it's still the "Clevelan" Cavaliers with no D on the end of it, because there's no D in "Clevelan."

- And it starts with the best player on the planet. LeBron James has now plunged to 359th in defensive win shares.

SHANNON SHARPE: He was already 355. He dropped four spots.

- OK, he's plunging. 517 total NBA players, he's 359th. And the Cavaliers remain 28th in defensive efficiency, just barely ahead of Sacramento and Phoenix. That's just pathetic.

SHANNON SHARPE: It is.

- That won't get it done.

SHANNON SHARPE: No, it will not.

- I'm sorry. I look at this, do you realize that they made Isaiah Thomas look like the player they thought they were going to get when he came to Cleveland?

SHANNON SHARPE: Did you notice how Isaiah--

- Do you realize Isaiah took the game over in stretches last night--

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah.

- --against that defense, the "Clevelan" Cavaliers?

SHANNON SHARPE: Did you notice how accepting of the role of coming off the bench he is, Joy?

SKIP BAYLESS: Mm hm.

- You notice that? It's amazing. Now, he wasn't-- he was unwilling to come off the bench. I'm a starter.

SHANNON SHARPE: Mm.

- Oh, it's amazing now. He's going to come off the bench now.

SKIP BAYLESS: Well, he played like a starter, didn't he?

- That's what guys-- Lou Williams, Lou Williams comes off the bench. He plays like a starter every night.

SHANNON SHARPE: Now he's starting, but go ahead.

- Jordan Clarkson.

SKIP BAYLESS: Yep.

- Those guys give you valuable minutes. Skip, I mean, you can't-- you look at this. Yesterday, the second best player on the Cavaliers were Larry Nance, Jr.

SKIP BAYLESS: Mm.

- You-- and I love Nance, Jr. But Skip, he can't be your second or third best player on the team.

SKIP BAYLESS: Mm hm.

- He's supposed to be a rotational guy. He's supposed to be one of the first or second guys up off the bench. He's playing heavy minutes, because that's all they have to offer.

SKIP BAYLESS: But you loved him.

- I do--

- The other night after his coming out party--

SHANNON SHARPE: What did I just tell you?

- You were just, like, over the moon about Larry Nance, Jr. He's a revelation.

- I love Larry Nance, Jr.

- Mm.

- But Larry Nance, Jr. isn't supposed to be your second or third best player. He's supposed to be the first or second guy up off your bench.

- Mm.

- But the Cavaliers are counting on him to play heavy, heavy minutes and deliver, and he has.

- So even Isaiah Thomas torches this defense?

- Skip, they had four guys that had 20 points.

- Wow.

- Caldwell-Pope had 20.

- And then, speaking of Julius Randle, and again, I pointed out before the season started that Luke Walton said in the preseason, Julius Randle is a quote, unquote "monster."

- Yes.

- Because he can be. So he just played bully ball last night, right?

- He did.

- And yet, he's 6' 9". He's listed as 6' 9", 250. And LeBron is 6' 9", 280 maybe? That's what Tristan says.

- He's not. He's 250. I don't care what Tristan says!

- 260, let's give him that.

- 50!

- LeBron James is slightly bigger than Julius Randle, who played bully ball against what was left of the interior of the Cavs defense. And I'm thinking you keep telling me how LeBron could take those fives out of the game, you know, if he has two late in the game.

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah.

- And I'm thinking, why didn't LeBron just stop this guy from bullying the Cavs last night? Where was LeBron?

SHANNON SHARPE: Skip.

- Why didn't LeBron just say, I'm going to take him out of the game?