Lou Williams says Clippers would’ve won 2020 title over Lakers if it weren’t for the bubble

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams believes that the Clippers would have won the NBA title over the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019-20 season if it weren’t for the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, Fla.

The 2019-20 season was paused in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the NBA didn’t resume until later in the summer when the teams went to the bubble.

The Lakers ended up earning the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, with the Clippers getting the No. 2 seed, and LeBron James and company eventually won the title over the Miami Heat in six games.

Williams shared that he was ready to leave the bubble, and that may have contributed to the Clippers coming up short in the playoffs.

The Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs in seven games, and Williams shared that the team wasn’t “in it for the long game” because of the conditions of being isolated in the bubble.

“So, I think mentally, we wasn’t in it for the long game,” Williams said. “We didn’t really see – we didn’t really see the pot of gold at the end of it. We were starting to hear the rumblings like, ‘Nobody’s going to respect this chip’ and all of that. So, I think we kind of just took our foot off the gas.”

While Williams and the Clippers can wonder what would have happened had the season not been paused, the Lakers ended up coming out of the bubble with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Los Angeles was dominant in the postseason in the 2019-20 campaign, beating the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets to make the NBA Finals. The team needed just five games in each of those three series to make the Finals.

James and Anthony Davis proved that they were one of the best duos in the league in the bubble. It’s hard to predict how the playoffs would have gone had the COVID-19 pandemic not happened, as there were still regular season games to be played when the season was paused.

It’s possible that the Lakers and Clippers would have ended up on a collision course for the Western Conference Finals, but the Clippers fumbled their chance.

Williams, who last played in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021-22 season, may believe that the Clippers would have won, but the only true champion that season was the Lakers.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.