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LeBron James gave an in-depth response on if the Lakers players can sustain the pressure of playing perfect basketball to make a comeback.

LeBron James was asked about the Lakers needing to play near-perfect basketball to stand a chance at winning a game against the Nuggets, and the four-time champion went off on a lengthy response explaining why pressure in the playoffs is inevitable and that all players need to be asked if they’re willing to rise to the pressure.

“It’s the postseason. We’re professionals. You’re supposed to have anxiety and pressure, feel the pressure, that’s what it’s about. That’s what the postseason is about. So I don’t know how to answer that question, I don’t know. I don’t know. You have to ask the individuals that question and see how they feel.” 

James doesn’t want to assume that his teammates feel pressured by the need to play perfect basketball, but he knows that he and Anthony Davis can rise to the occasion.

“It’s hard for me to be like, ‘This is what I think.’ I can’t do that, l’m not a mind reader. I don’t know. But this is the postseason, me and [Anthony Davis] have been playing together for six years and we’ve been to the mountain top, we’ve been close to the mountain top, we’ve played a lot of games. We know what it takes to win, what it takes to win a championship, and how damn near perfect you got to be. That’s not like something that’s so crazy to obtain. I’ve been a part of it four times where you have to have almost perfect basketball to win. And I’ve done it with him.”

James doesn’t expect everyone to match his commitment to perfection, as this is just a game at the end of the day.

“I’m not a guy that you should ask that because I don’t feel a way about anybody that doesn’t want to strive to be as close to perfect as possible. And it’s just basketball. At the end of the day, it’s just basketball.”

LeBron dropped an efficient 26 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in the Lakers’ 107-112 Game 3 loss to the Nuggets which extended Denver’s series lead to 3-0.

The Lakers blew a first-half lead and failed to execute down the stretch, repeating an all-too-familiar script in this loss. If the Lakers make a single mistake, the Nuggets punish them for it, and that level of consistency has made it impossible for the Lakers to match Denver.

LeBron James knows that overturning a 3-0 lead is a daunting task, especially against a team like the Nuggets, who have beaten them in 11 consecutive games. But he made it clear that if the team shows life, that means they still believe.

“You take it one game at a time. At this point, you lose, you go home. You come out with the mindset to win one and then we go from there. As long as you still have life, then you always have belief. You play until the wheels fall off. That’s what it’s always about for me as a mindset.”

James is averaging 26.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 9.7 assists this series. He’s done everything that’s required of him, thriving in a second-option role behind a dominant Anthony Davis. But even James, at age 39, doesn’t have the energy to be perfect for the 40 minutes he plays every game for the Lakers, so it seems they’re outmatched.

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