Ex-Clippers star reveals why Kawhi Leonard and co. CHOKED AWAY 3-1 lead against Nikola Jokic and Nuggets and failed to win NBA title in the bubble

Clippers' Missed Opportunity: The Season that Changed with the Pandemic, Lou Will's Insight, and the Playoff Struggles


Ex-Clippers star reveals why Kawhi Leonard and co. CHOKED AWAY 3-1 lead against Nikola Jokic and Nuggets and failed to win NBA title in the bubble

Kawhi Leonard and Nikola Jokic in 2020 (via. LA Times)

Following the acquisition of Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers were the clear favourites to win the 2020 NBA title. They were racing towards home-court advantage in the postseason as the second-best club in the Western Conference team rankings. However, the epidemic struck and the league was forced to postpone the season until it was reopened in a bubble format. 

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Despite having second thoughts, the Clippers entered the Orlando event. Lou Williams, nevertheless, claims that they lost motivation to capture a title that other people thought was less significant.

During an interview, Williams stated:

I think mentally we wasn't in it for the long game. We didn't really see the pot of gold at the end of it. We were starting to hear rumblings like nobody's gonna respect this chip and all of that, so think we kind of just took our foot off the gas pedal.

When the season was suspended, the Clippers had a 44-20 record and were just one point behind the Lakers in the Western Conference rankings. Initially, it was unclear if the campaign would go forward in light of the limitations. On the other hand, the NBA announced plans to host a competition in a bubble. The players in particular voiced strong hostility to the proposal.

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Clippers’ unsettling Orlando experience: Lou Williams’ perspective and Paul George’s playoff struggles

Not just Lou Will, but other Clippers players were also uneasy with the arrangement in Orlando. Paul George, an All-Star forward, compared being in the bubble to going to jail.

In addition, PG acknowledged that he had been sleep-deprived for the previous two weeks, which had a negative impact on his play in the playoffs, particularly in the Clippers’ pivotal match of the series.

Lou Williams
Lou Williams

As Lou Will says, the Clippers appeared to be focused on winning the championship all the way up until Game 4 of the second round, so it’s unclear when they let off. In the Conference semifinals, the Clippers quickly jumped out to a 3-1 series lead against the Denver Nuggets after taking off the Dallas Mavericks in six games. But they lost Games 5 and 6 after blowing large leads. The Nuggets then stole the series because neither George nor Kawhi Leonard could deliver in Game 7.

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