If anyone remembers 2020, it is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It would probably be a bit fuzzy, muddled along with the worry over NBA’s season continuation. However, one clear memory would be the one involving his time at the Los Angeles Lakers. On May 20th, Caldwell-Pope reminisced about feeling like the only NBA squad that stuck together during the pandemic. However, on May 20th, he was playing for the Denver Nuggets and added 17 points to his side’s tally.
How Much Of A Difference Would Caldwell-Pope Be If He Was Still In Los Angeles Lakers?
In the finals of the Western Conference, Caldwell-Pope’s performance secured 119 points to 108 over his former team. The Nuggets now lead the 7-match series 3 wins to 0 over the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, just before the suspension of play in March 2020, the Los Angeles Lakers were the conference’s best team. Their leader was LeBron James. Alex Caruso, Caldwell-Pope, and Anthony Davis were the side’s iconic defensive trio. The team’s stamina and character were on full display when the Los Angeles Lakers had taken on the Denver Nuggets, similar to now, in the finals of the Western Conference. In 2020, the Lakers were the victors, securing their win in 5 games.
However, even if it was a close affair in 2020, this season’s one-sided affair highlights the difference in the trajectory of the two sides since then. The Denver Nuggets are showing massive improvement with a healthier and deeper squad. The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, have possibly spent too much effort in remaking that 2020 squad. Now, they seem to be running on fumes.
With the Lakers, Caldwell-Pope’s defensive efforts and shots from outside 3-point range were almost taken for granted. For the Nuggets, Caldwell-Pope is one of the most vital players on the squad.