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Resonating With Skip Bayless’ Shock, Paul Pierce Expresses His Disbelief at Anthony Edwards and Co. Dominating Nuggets

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Resonating With Skip Bayless' Shock, Paul Pierce Expresses His Disbelief at Anthony Edwards and Co. Dominating Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets were the odds-on favorites to represent the West in the NBA Finals. But the Minnesota Timberwolves cut their playoff journey short and eliminated them in just the second round with a 4-3 series win. Hall of Famer Paul Pierce was astonished by the result but quickly dissected why the Nuggets blew a 20-point lead in Game 7 and lost the series. On Monday’s episode of Undisputed, he said,

“You say [it was] a collapse by Denver, but a lot of this is [because of] what Minnesota did. They were, or are, the #1 defense in the NBA all year. They have the Defensive Player of the Year. So that played a factor when you see the Denver Nuggets came out and scored 14 points in the third quarter. As hot as Jamal [Murray] was in the first half, that’s how cold he was from three [in the second]. He shot 1-for-7.”

Despite critiquing Jamal Murray’s performance in the second half, Pierce absolved the guard along with Nikola Jokic, saying the rest of the Nuggets’ players were responsible for their team’s shock defeat. And as harsh as his words may sound, the analyst is spot on.

Murray and Jokic combined for 69 points in Game 7, while the other starters – Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Michael Porter Jr. – scored only 16. Denver’s bench players were also a non-factor, contributing only five points, a dismal return in a do-or-die game for the team.

The Timberwolves deserve credit for shutting down the Nuggets. But Denver’s front office should treat this as a lesson and look to add a third star or improve their depth in the offseason to reduce the team’s reliance on Jokic and Murray to bail them out.

Paul Pierce had predicted the Nuggets to take care of business in Game 7

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After the Timberwolves’ 45-point blowout win over the Nuggets in Game 6, many voiced concerns that Minnesota may have cracked the code to beat the defending champions. But Paul Pierce downplayed their chances and attributed Denver’s loss to boredom. He said,

“I think it’s really hard to play against the same team over and over again. You kind of get bored with the style of the play… I believe that the defending champs are going to put their armor on for Game 7.”

The Nuggets were proving Pierce right as they raced to a 15-point halftime lead. But a disastrous third quarter saw their lead cut to a solitary point and an outstanding defensive effort in the fourth quarter coupled with Naz Reid and Rudy Gobert combining for 16 points saw the Timberwolves pull off the upset win in Denver.

The Timberwolves have little time to celebrate slaying the Serbian giant and his team as they are scheduled to host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday for Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals series. However, given their incredible win, they have all the momentum they will ever need.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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