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#pounditThursday, August 18, 2022

Clippers forward still salty about team’s collapse to Denver in bubble

Marcus Morris at a press conference

Marcus Morris must not know who Idina Menzel is because he still won’t let it go.

The LA Clippers forward spoke with ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk for a feature this week on the team and their journey. In the feature, Morris made some salty comments about the Clippers’ collapse to the Denver Nuggets in the Orlando bubble two seasons ago.

“We only lost that s— because we were in the bubble,” he said of the Denver series. “[If] we weren’t in the bubble, we’d beat the s— out of them. Put that on the record. … Guys are out of their comfort zone. Kudos to Denver.”

The Clippers, who were heavily-favored in that 2020 second-round playoff series, went up on the Nuggets 3-1 but dropped the next three consecutive games in a stunning meltdown. It was the only fully healthy season that the team has gotten thus far in the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era.

The Orlando bubble was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime set of circumstances that some NBA teams were built for and other teams weren’t. The Clippers definitely fell in the latter category, and one of their stars even admitted to dealing with depression in the bubble. Granted, the Clippers still deserved some criticism after going up 3-1 on Denver and having double-digit leads in Games 5, 6, and 7 but blowing every single one of them.

The bubble disaster actually ended up working in the Clippers’ favor. They fired head coach Doc Rivers and replaced him with Tyronn Lue, who has been a major part of their success ever since. The Clippers also parted with veterans Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, and Patrick Beverley to focus on younger and more versatile players such as Norman Powell, Terance Mann, Ivica Zubac, and Amir Coffey. Now instead of folding in the face of adversity, the Clippers made the conference finals for the first time ever last year and now sit a surprising eighth in the West this year despite all their stars being sidelined for the majority of the season.

As for Morris’ bubble comments, he will now get a chance to make good on his claim. The Clippers will face those very same Nuggets on Tuesday night.

Photo: Feb 17, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks former player Marcus Morris speaks to media at his jersey retiring press conference before the game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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