King James admitted to watching the Nuggets vs Clippers series closely. But according to him, he did so from a purely scouting standpoint.
The LA Clippers became the second team in this year’s playoffs to blow a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets. They lost Games 5 and 6 of the series despite leading by 16 and 19 points respectively. They couldn’t score a field goal in the 4th quarter of Game 7 till the 4:48 mark, when they were down 13 points and the game virtually out of reach.
LeBron James on Clippers/Nuggets Game 7 – “I really don’t have a comment about it. I was just watching the game from a fans perspective and scouting both teams at the same time.”
Any part of you wanted a chance to face them and settle it?
LBJ – “Nah. What were we settling?” pic.twitter.com/zi4VAC6o0q
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) September 17, 2020
They have been the butt of all jokes and criticism on social media over the past 2 days, and with good reason. The expectations for this team were sky-high, especially after they initiated the Paul George trade and gave up 5 picks over the next 6 seasons.
The anticipated matchup between the Clippers and the Lakers was the talk of the NBA through the season. Many believed these to be the two best teams in the league.
The Clippers have finished above the Lakers for 7 straight seasons. Before Anthony Davis’s arrival, the Lakers had missed 6 straight playoffs. Some bad blood was expected between the crosstown rivals.
This is the reason why it seems disingenuous from LeBron to say he wasn’t watching the Clippers with some schadenfreude.
While the two teams were pitted to face each other in the WCF all year long, LeBron sort of hinted in his recent interview, that the Lakers are far superior and did not really have any scores to settle with the Clippers.
The Lakers have behaved in an utmost professional manner so far during the bubble. They have been buoyed by the addition of their family members to the setting. This has normalized life away from home for so long for them.
All the Lakers need to do now is beat the lesser talented Nuggets. Having LeBron James on one’s side does kind of help seal that deal. James will look to make the 10th NBA Finals of his career.