Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: Lakers would’ve lost to Nuggets in 2020 WCF if Anthony Davis didn’t hit 3

Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pop and LeBron James after Davis' game-winner in Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Anthony Davis said the Lakers would’ve beaten the Suns in the 2021 playoffs if he didn’t get hurt.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has his own “what if?” involving Davis.

Caldwell-Pope and Davis were teammates on the 2020 championship Lakers. Los Angeles beat the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals with Davis hitting a game-winning 3-pointer in Game 2.

Traded to Denver this offseason, Caldwell-Pope said that shot was the only reason Denver didn’t make the NBA Finals.

Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports:

The Lakers beat the Nuggets 4-1. Was the Lakers’ victory really so delicate it would’ve crumbled if they were tied 1-1 rather than up 2-0? Does Caldwell-Pope believe that so much that he has been telling people it since?

Both seem farfetched.

More importantly, Davis did hit the 3-pointer. He deserves credit for making the shot. Maybe he would’ve usually missed if put in that exact situation many times. That’s the nature of shooting, especially against set defenses just before the buzzer. But this wasn’t just lucky break. Shooting requires skill. Davis’ came through.

In that sense, maybe Caldwell-Pope is trying to compliment Davis – hyping how important the shot was. Caldwell-Pope is obviously also praising his new team, trying to ingratiate himself.

But in the process, he’s shortchanging the Lakers, whose victory over Denver looked strong enough to withstand a Game 2 loss.