*a 3 minute read*
This article will have petty comments and be completely biased towards the Toronto Raptors. Reader discretion is advised.
Sports are truly one of the greatest joys in the world. You never really know what to expect. And while the NBA bubble effect has shown us that anything is possible, did you really think that anything is possible?
Enter the Denver Nuggets. The team who has been a standout and stubborn thorn in the sides of Western Conference teams all year. Look at what they have achieved in the playoffs so far. Coming back from 3-1 down in a series twice? Are you crazy? No one would ever dare to think that is attainable. Trust me, many have tried and many have failed. But what can I say, Denver is built differently. And now they have earned their way to a Western Conference final vs the Los Angeles Lakers. Let me tell you again, anything is possible.
The Art of Deception
Firstly, we cannot move forward without dissecting the fraudulent behaviour going on in LA concerning the Clippers. Curses are real and the Clippers have been trusted to carry this curse for the greater banter of the NBA (slander incoming).
The coach of the LA Clippers, Doc Rivers (fraud #1), has never been to the conference finals during his seven-year tenure at the wheel. He also becomes the first coach in NBA history whose teams three times failed to advance from a best of seven series after taking a 3–1 lead (when you really take this in, Rivers is slacking and lacking).
And while the Clippers roster may not have been fully equipped to challenge for the conference finals every year, the Clippers have certainly had enough star players and opportunities to advance to the latter stages of the NBA in recent years (with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan in the mix of things).
But this year, you had your chance. You got no one, but two golden eggs in Kawhi “you shouldn’t have left Toronto” Leonard (fraud #2) and Paul “who’s a fraud” George (you already know he’s #3).
Kawhi and Paul were supposed to be the guys that took you to the promised land. These were supposed to be the guys to instill fear in Lebron James and put the whole NBA on watch for the new dynamic duo in town. This was supposed to be a team full of “dogs” that were going to win it all this year. And they blew a 3-1 lead. Ha. And again I say ha. But the warning signs were there early on…
The early test of facing the Dallas Mavericks in the first round was enough to be a little concerned about the Clippers’ chances of winning the championship this year. NBA fans know that Dallas is a great upcoming team but need just a little more going for them to be a true contender in the West right now.
But the Clippers struggled and blew leads throughout that series also, showing a lack of mental toughness and lackadaisical approach surrounding these games. You think they would learn from their mistakes but nope, another slip, and now they have slipped all the way down to the basement of coming up short. But what is the problem?
The Ultimate Problem
The idea of “flipping a switch” needs to be abolished from the mindset of every athlete. You should never think that when the appropriate time comes you can just turn on a switch, show up to play, and somehow win the game. I call that arrogance at its finest and this has caused the Clippers to take an embarrassing L (standard abbreviation for a loss) that will not be forgotten about for a very, very long time.
You were up 3-1, Clippers, no excuses. Close them out — they had too many chances and too many star players to lose this series in the fashion that they did. Pure firepower can only take you so far. Time and time again you could see the chemistry and on-court issues for the Clippers was an area of concern. But when the time comes, you need your main guys to step and close out a game. But this was nowhere to be found…
The glory of all is that a Canadian, Jamal Murray, is was one of the main reasons why the Clippers will be going home early. With Murray having a 40 point game and making every clutch needed for Denver to close this game out, it was a beautiful and calming sight to see. Call it poetic justice, the rightful redemption for what Kawhi left behind in Toronto, Ontario. The North never forgets.
But please give all credit to Denver for their ability to never give up. And Mike Malone, the Denver Nuggets coach, deserves all the praise in the world.
What Denver is doing is special in itself and you cannot discredit anything they have achieved this year. Showcasing team basketball with the one-two punch in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray carrying their team is doing wonders and is a true testament to the sport of basketball.
We will see what else unfolds inside the bubble. I thoroughly expect Lebron to close this out and reach the NBA finals, but we know now to never, ever, count out the Denver Nuggets. Remember what I told you everyone – anything is possible.
Thanks for reading, share with an NBA fan, a Kawhi hater, you know the drill. Also, answer the question below!