The Los Clippers surrendered their third consecutive loss in a stunning 104-89 lopsided Game 7, they blew a 3-1 lead and are now unexpectedly on their way home. Perkins, who was a guest on ESPN‘s “First Take” Thursday morning.
“They’re the biggest front-runners in NBA history,” Perkins said. “When everything is going well, you hear them hooping and hollering and pounding their chests at their children and wives that are in the stands and the virtual fans. But when things get close, oh man, you could smell it. Their heart stopped pumping kool-aid.”
Perkins: ‘This Is One Of The Greatest Upsets In NBA History’
The heavily-favored Los Angeles went ice cold in the fourth quarter.
While the Nuggets were trying to keep the Clippers at bay and were on their way of sealing them off for good, the iceberg that was Doc Rivers’ offense was coming ahead full steam at the start of the final period. It took the Clippers over eight minutes to convert their a made field goal (0-of-13) in the final frame, they came up empty in 13 consecutive possessions, meanwhile, Denver poured it on and pushed its lead to beyond a 16-point advantage.
“I’m looking at this Clipper team, man!” Perkins added. “They couldn’t guard a senior citizen at recess in a nursing home. They were horrible on the defensive end. The Denver Nuggets flat out out-played them. They had the ultimate confidence. This is one of the greatest upsets in NBA history.”
Can’t expect the Clippers to garner much sympathy from the rest of the league. Los Angeles not only had two elite two-way superstars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at the wing positions it was the clear-cut favorite heading into their Western Conference semifinals best-of-7 series.
Doc Rivers Responds To The Clippers Collapse
“It’s just disappointing, you know?” Rivers said. “I thought we had so many opportunities over the last three games to win. But you gotta give Denver credit. They kept playing, they kept executing, they kept playing together.”
Big Perk, Rivers’ former starting center, isn’t buying it.
“There’s no way around it,” Perkins added. “I don’t want to hear anything about chemistry problems. They do a lot of barking and no biting.”
Rivers spoke to the Clippers’ struggles throughout Game 7 and how a playoff matchup of that magnitude typically leads to surprises when you’re a team that hasn’t spent a whole lot of year with each other.
“Just see the difference in the two teams,” Rivers added. “That team’s (Nuggets) been together, we haven’t and you could see it as the games went on. They just knew each other so well. Offensively, we had great shots. I mean, great shots, all night. I still didn’t think we trusted, you know?
We did at the beginning of the game. We did coming out for the third quarter, we got a seven-point lead. But right when they put pressure on us. You know, honestly, I just through we didn’t come through.”
The Clippers shot 37.8% from the floor, including 9-of-35 from behind the 3-point arc.
“I’m the coach and I’ll take any blame for it but we didn’t meet our expectations, clearly,” Rivers said. “Because if we had, in my opinion, we’d still be playing.”