Nuggets vs Clippers Game 7

Tonight is the finale of the Nuggets/Clippers Western Conference Semifinals. The winner will face the Los Angeles Lakers.

I’m incredibly shocked at the turn of events that this series has taken. After trailing 3-1 for the second time in these playoffs, the Nuggets play great with their backs against the wall. Clippers had a double-digit lead entering the second half in both Games 5 and 6. Clippers seem to have lost poise. What is going on with the Clippers?

I see a Clipper team that looks too comfortable once they have a comfortable lead. I see a Clipper team that chemistry is missing. Nuggets coach Mike Malone is out coaching Doc Rivers in the previous two games. They look vulnerable. For a team that’s loaded with great talent and can play defense, this is disappointing because I want to see a Clippers vs. Lakers showdown in the Western Conference Finals. This will be the real NBA Finals for the bubble.

Clippers might not win it all this year. It’s sporadic to see a team come all together in their first year. The only team I can remember that won right away in their first season together was the 2008 Boston Celtics with the Big 3 (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen). Miami’s Big 3 (Lebron, Wade, and Bosh) didn’t win in their first season together, the 2015 Cavs didn’t succeed in their first season together, and the list goes on. The Clippers have played only 18 games together in the regular season with a healthy squad. They need more time to gel together.

As for the Nuggets, they have been arguably the biggest surprise in these playoffs. This team is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Their starting five are all under 26 years old. They are young, have depth, and they can play defense. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr will be future All-Stars in this league. If the Nuggets can stay healthy and stay together, they will be a title contender sooner than we think.

I hope the Clippers win tonight. This is the first time in Kawhi Leonard’s career to put his reputation to the test. He needs to have a big game tonight. He’s a two-time champion, and I feel that he will respond tonight. However, he needs help from his bench (Montrezl Harrell and Lou Willians). Both of them are not playing well at all. Both of these Sixths of the Man Winners need to make some adjustments tonight. Paul George has been playing well in this series, but he needs to have another big game.

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