The Los Angeles Clippers were the 2020 NBA title favorites anddd they just blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the 2nd round. That is a horrifying sentence to everyone in the Clippers organization except for one man: Kawhi Leonard.
Kawhi had an atrocious Game 7. He shot 6-for-22 from the field (27%) and ended with only 14 points. None of which came in the 4th quarter. ZERO 4th quarter points. He had a -21 plus/minus. Arguably the most clutch player in the world and he was a ghost in a Game 7.
And none of it matters. Kawhi is a made man. He is the only man who has beaten LeBron James or Steph Curry since Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in 2011.
Do you understand how insane that is? LeBron might be the greatest player of all time. The Golden State Warriors are the best team in NBA history. They’ve won every NBA title in the last decade EXCEPT when they played against Kawhi Leonard.
Two Finals MVP on two different teams in two different divisions against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Steph Curry. He’s already proven what he can do. Look at that Toronto Raptors team he left. Yes, they were the No. 2 seed in a weak Eastern Conference and sure they took Boston to 7 games in the 2nd round just like the Clippers did but Pascal Siakam and Fred Vanvleet like, are fine role players. Toronto won that title because of Kawhi. Let’s make that very clear.
So who cares if Kawhi went 1-11 in the second half of that Game 7? Have you seen Paul George???
oh my god pic.twitter.com/0HrWTSJvev
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) September 16, 2020
Yes, that is the man who calls himself ‘Playoff P’ denting the side of the backboard on a corner 3. 10 points in Game 7. Playoff P shot 4-for-16 with 10 points. The Clippers traded Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and SEVEN first-round draft picks for 10 points in a Game 7. Paul George had 5 more points than he had turnovers.
You also can’t not point the finger at head coach, Doc Rivers.
Doc Rivers is on the verge of blowing his third 3-1 lead. No other coach in NBA history has blown two
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) September 16, 2020
The Clippers looked unfocused and disinterested from the moment they returned to the bubble. Guys coming in and out of the quarantine. Some of which stopping by the strip club before returning. Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams were bucket getters in the regular season and in the playoffs they played like they were trying to get the fuck out of Orlando.
Very odd watching Doc’s big adjustment being double teaming Nikola Jokic. Jokic WANTS to pass the ball so doubling him in order to force the ball out of his hands while leaving someone open is exactly what Jokic wants. He’s also 7-feet tall so doubling him with shorter guys he can easily see over was uh, yea, Doc blew another 3-1 lead.
And when it comes to Kawhi’s legacy, none of this matters. It was an evil genius move by this man to not only join the Clippers but to bring Paul George with him.
Best case scenario, he wins the Clippers their first title in franchise history and gets a statue. Playoff P looks like the guy who came in third in the MVP voting last season. Doc Rivers turns into the Coach of the Year. Clippers beat LeBron’s Lakers. Kawhi is king of Los Angeles.
But Kawhi Leonard has a family. He’s getting older. He has other priorities and interests outside of basketball. If he loses in the 2nd round, oh well. Vacation time. Let me get back home, shine my 2 Finals MVP trophies and then book a trip to Tulum. Paul George and Doc Rivers can get roasted all day and night meanwhile, you can rewatch my game-winner against the Sixers from last season or all my highlights in 2014 when I put LeBron in handcuffs on D.