Patrick Beverley says L.A. Clippers were going to win 2020 NBA title until bubble interfered

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley believes that the Clippers were going to win the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 season until the league was forced to finish the campaign in the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble.

The 2019-20 season is one of the strangest in recent memory as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down play for months before the season resumed in the bubble. The Lakers went on to win the title that season, defeating the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals.

Beverley, who signed with the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason, clearly thinks things would have gone differently had the season not gone into a pause because of the pandemic.

The Clippers still made the playoffs that season, leaning on stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to earn the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

The team made it out of the first round, beating the Dallas Mavericks in six games, but that was the only series the Clippers would win.

The Denver Nuggets defeated Los Angeles in seven games in the second round to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Denver’s elation from the series win didn’t last long, as the Lakers promptly beat the team in five games to move on to the NBA Finals.

Beverley didn’t give a reason as to why he believes the Clippers would have won the Finals had the bubble not happened, but it’s possible that the layoff hurt the team.

Some teams benefitted from the bubble since the layoff allowed injured players to recover. However, every team had to play in the same conditions in Orlando, Fla. in the 2019-20 season, so it’s hard to put the blame on that for the Clippers coming up short.

A three-time All-Defensive selection, Beverley is now chasing a title alongside Joel Embiid in Philly. Last season, he started the campaign with the Lakers before being traded to the Orlando Magic at the deadline.

The Magic bought out Beverley’s contract, clearing the way for him to sign with the Chicago Bulls. He nearly helped the team reach the playoffs through the league’s play-in tournament, but Chicago lost to the Miami Heat in the game that decided the No. 8 seed in the East.

Lakers fans will forever remember the Orlando, Fla. bubble fondly while Clippers fans – and former players like Beverley – don’t feel the same way.

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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.