Kevin Durant was flabbergasted by the Clippers' series loss to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semi-finals last week. But he thinks he knows why Los Angeles fell apart against Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and the Denver offense.
The Clippers entered the 2019-20 season as the overwhelming favorite to win the NBA Finals. Los Angeles - led by stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George - failed to ever become a cohesive unit, though. The lack of chemistry quickly caught up to Doc Rivers' squad.
After taking a commanding 3-1 series lead over Denver, the Nuggets rattled off three straight wins to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Game 7 was an absolute disaster for the Clippers, especially because of horrendous performances by Leonard and George.
Many pointed to the Clippers' offensive performance as the reason they fell apart and lost Game 7 to the Clippers. But Kevin Durant believes the Los Angeles defense failed to get on the same page, which wound up costing the Clippers the series.
“To see them lose like that, it was definitely shocking,” Kevin Durant said on The Joe Budden Podcast, via Clutch Points. “They had the most talent. They [were] the deepest team in the NBA top-to-bottom. The Clippers weren’t on the same page on defense all series. That’s why they lost.”
Whether it was offense or defense, it's safe to assume the Clippers never established a chemistry championship teams need to win the NBA Finals.
Now, it'll be interesting to see what the organization does with the current roster. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George clearly don't work well together. Will the Clippers look to make another blockbuster trade this off-season?
There's no doubt the Clippers can be a championship contender in coming years. But changes have to be made to take advantage of Kawhi Leonard's prime years.