Fans dreaming of a Lakers-Clippers Western Conference Finals were disappointed on Tuesday night, as the Nuggets ended those dreams with a surprising Game 7 upset.
The Clippers, an NBA Finals favorite in the eyes of many, choked away those hopes with a second round loss to the Nuggets. Denver will now face the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
There was a lot of Clippers talk this season, especially in Los Angeles. Some felt that Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Co. were set to take over the Lakers-focused city.
But that didn’t happen. And, according to one Lakers player, they never even really focused on the Clippers.
“We’re not focused on the Clippers, and we never really were,” Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said.
"… We’re not focused on the Clippers, and we never really were."
—Kuzma on if the Lakers enjoyed seeing the Clippers get eliminated pic.twitter.com/mAkC0FnUtP
— ESPN (@espn) September 16, 2020
That wasn’t really a shot at the Clippers, as Kuzma was simply admitting that his team was only focused on what was ahead of him.
But maybe that was not the case for the Clippers, who never seemed to fully develop any real chemistry over the course of the 2019-20 season. It’s possible Doc Rivers’ team was thinking too much about a deep playoff run instead of just taking it game-by-game.
A Lakers-Clippers Western Conference Finals series will have to wait until 2021 at the earliest.