Reggie Miller and Chris Webber Preview the X-Factors of the Western Conference Finals – Sports Illustrated

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Reggie Miller did not mince words on the collapse of the Los Angeles Clippers.

After taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, the Clippers had three chances to knock out the Denver Nuggets and advance to a date in the Western Conference Finals against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers. But they squandered double-digit leads in Games 5, 6, and 7, cementing one of the greatest breakdowns in franchise history.

“That curse is real,” said Miller. “The Clippers’ whole marketing scheme was to deface the Los Angeles Lakers and their history. ‘There’s a new sheriff in town, we’re taking over LA!’ Their focus was LeBron, AD, and the Lakers, and they were one game away from doing it. It was a total collapse.

“Now we’re hearing there were chemistry problems? Come on. Why didn’t we know anything about chemistry problems before? Don’t be cryptic, Paul George. I want names. If they’re talking about getting rid of Doc Rivers, who are they going to bring in that’s better than Doc? Paul George needs to start looking at himself.”

Along with Brian Anderson on play-by-play, Miller and Chris Webber will be providing analysis for the Western Conference Finals on TNT. The two basketball icons spoke to assorted media on a Wednesday press call to preview the Lakers-Nuggets series.

“I love that Denver is making people believe,” said Webber. “I love how deep they are, and hopefully Coach [Michael] Malone gets the credit he deserves. If you talk to players that have played for him, they’ll tell you how much they’ve enjoyed playing for him. They’re a great story.”

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone celebrates with his team after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers in game seven of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs

Miller, a Hall of Famer who was lethal behind the three-point line, touched on how the Nuggets-Lakers series will offer a different style of play from the Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 1, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat combined to attempt 76 three-pointers, but Miller noted there will be a far different pace in the West.

“The Lakers made 19 threes in that closeout game against Houston, but they are

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