NBA fans were looking forward to seeing the LA Lakers and LA Clippers meet in the 2020 Western Conference Finals at Walt Disney World in the NBA bubble. However, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Clippers choked in the second round against the Denver Nuggets by blowing a 3-1 series lead.
Meanwhile, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers took care of their business versus the Houston Rockets in the second round and defeated the Nuggets in the conference finals and the Miami Heat in the Finals.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were projected to defeat LeBron James and Anthony Davis. So when the Clippers flamed out, the two forwards were ripped to shreds by NBA pundits and fans. Lakers veteran Jared Dudley also joined in on the fun.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard didn’t deliver the goods for the Clippers
It was bad enough that the Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead to the Nuggets. However, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George made things worse after failing to score in the fourth quarter of Game 7.
Not only did Leonard and George choke versus the Nuggets, but George became the butt of jokes on NBA Twitter after he hit the side of the backboard on an open 3-point attempt from the corner. This was after George talked all season about how the Clippers were an elite team.
LeBron James and the Lakers let their game do the talking for them last season. George and Patrick Beverley did a lot of trash-talking, especially since the Clippers went 2-2 against the Lakers in the regular season. LeBron and Co. paid attention to what the LAC players were saying, but the Lakers never engaged in the back-and-forth because they knew they had to remain focused on the task at hand.
Lakers players laughed after the Clippers lost to the Nuggets at Disney World. Jared Dudley, who captured his first NBA title, shed some light in his new book about why the Lakers took it personal against Paul George and the Clippers.
Jared Dudley says the Lakers were motivated by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George
Jared Dudley released a 41-page mini-book on Amazon Kindle about his experience winning a title in the NBA bubble with the Lakers. In it, he took major shots at Paul George.
“We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in LA,” Dudley wrote, via SB Nation. “It’s fine if Kawhi says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash; that’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle. But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won, to put himself on the level of Bron and AD. This motivates us. When we see those guys around the compound, we don’t really kick it with them. The one exception of course is Markieff, whose twin brother, Marcus, is on the Clippers. This probably keeps tensions from boiling over.”
Paul George is one of the best players in the NBA. However, he has a history of coming up short in the playoffs. Until PG-13 wins a championship, Jared Dudley and other players in the league will continue not to respect his cocky attitude.
Will the Clippers and Lakers meet in the 2021 playoffs?
The Lakers and Clippers are both 17-6 on the season. NBA fans are hopeful the two LA teams meet in the 2021 playoffs so they can see LeBron James and Anthony Davis face Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in a seven-game series.
The Clippers, under new head coach Tyronn Lue, are playing very well. However, no one will take the team seriously until they play well in the postseason.