Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was traded from the Wizards to the Nuggets this offseason. When asked by Harison Wind of DNVR Sports on how he felt after the Lakers defeated the Nuggets in the 2020 Western Conference Finals, Caldwell-Pope replied, “I always tell people this story. If AD [Anthony Davis] didn’t hit that three, I think we would have lost that series. That’s what I think about this Denver team.”
During the 2020 NBA Bubble, Anthony Davis sank a 3-pointer in Game 2 to give the Lakers a 105-103 win over the Nuggets. After Nikola Jokic made a hook shot over Davis in the paint — leaving 20.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter — head coach Frank Vogel used his final timeout. Los Angeles trailed 103-102 before Davis’ game-winning buzzer beater from downtown.
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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is starting over fresh with the Nuggets
After Davis nailed that 3-pointer in Game 2 of the 2020 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers went on to beat the Nuggets in five games to advance to their first Finals appearance since 2010. Of course, the team went on to defeat the Heat in six games of the NBA Finals.
The 2019-20 season was one of the craziest seasons of basketball. Not only because of the shocking death of Kobe Bryant, but also because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While playing in the NBA Bubble negatively affected quite a few players’ performances, others didn’t miss a beat, such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
In the 2021-22 NBA season, the guard averaged 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in a total of 77 games played with the Wizards. Plus, the guard shot 43.5% from the floor and 39% from beyond the arc.
Days ago, Ish Smith and Caldwell-Pope were traded to the Nuggets for Will Barton and Monte Morris. The Nuggets are the fourth team of Caldwell-Pope’s NBA career. He is projected to earn $14,004,703 with Denver for the 2022-23 season.
Last season, the guard scored a season-high 35 points in the Wizards’ 135-103 win over the Mavericks on Apr. 1. He finished 13-for-19 shooting from the field. The Nuggets’ backcourt is now solid. Along with Caldwell-Pope, they have Ish Smith, Jamal Murray, Bones Hyland and others.
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Did Caldwell-Pope downplay the Lakers’ championship run?
Furthermore, while complimenting Caldwell-Pope’s new team, he may have inadvertently thrown shade at his former team. The nine-year veteran is well aware that Los Angeles defeated Denver 4-1 in the Western Conference Finals. But why would Davis’ game-winning shot be the ultimate difference-maker when the series was never competitive?
During the 2020 NBA Playoffs, LeBron James averaged 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. And the four-time MVP averaged 27 points, 10.4 rebounds and 9 assists per game against the Nuggets in that series. Had Davis missed, it would have been just a minor inconvenience for the Lakers.
In the Lakers’ 126-114 win over the Nuggets in Game 1, Caldwell-Pope ended his outing with 18 points in 30 minutes played. Keep in mind, the guard averaged 25 minutes per game in the 2019-20 season.
It will be interesting to see on whether or not the 29-year-old will make an impact in Denver next season. Other articles related to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are on the main page.
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