Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was efficient in Game 2 in the Denver Nuggets’ Round 2 series against the Phoenix Suns.
Last night, the Denver Nuggets guard missed only one of his shots en route to his third straight double-digit scoring outing and finished with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal in 41 minutes of action.
The Nuggets who hold a 2-0 lead over the Phoenix Suns are benefitting from Caldwell-Pope’s 10.9 points per game through seven Playoff games.
The former University of Georgia Bulldog is also shooting 44.1 percent in that stretch.
The NBA Champion sat down with me and discussed life in Denver, why the Nuggets are a Championship team, and his experience playing alongside Nikola Jokic.
In our Q&A, KCP also reflected on his time playing for the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James and the success of former Laker and Wizard teammate Kyle Kuzma.
What’s the Washington to Denver transition been like for you?
It’s been great so far. Just being able to come over with my type of experience and they accepted me to be able to play freely. It’s been great so far.
You’ve played a whole season with Jokic, you also played against him in the NBA Bubble. What are things you noticed playing with Jokic that you didn’t notice you played against him?
He’s unbelievable, man. His passing, his touch around the rim, his IQ and the way that he sees the floor and his defense — he gets just as many deflections as I do; and he just makes everything so easy for everybody around him and that makes it easy for him. I respect that.
You’ve won one championship and you’re trying to win another. Some have said it takes a bit of luck to win an NBA Championship on top of the preparation. Do you agree?
I do agree with the preparation part. You gotta be on top of everything — the less mistakes you make, the more your team capitalizes off of it. It’s hard to get away from that but preparation [to me] is being focused and ready. I don’t know if it has anything to do with luck. Luck is like making the playoffs, you know what I’m sayin’? But like, getting to the championship and just winning it? I don’t think that’s luck.
Do you see a comparison and similarities of the Nuggets’ team cohesiveness as you do with your Lakers Championship team from 2020?
I was just asked that question a week ago… I do see a lot of similarities. As far as being together as a brotherhood, hanging out with each other, laughing and joking, being able to take that criticism from each other … I do see that a lot over and a lot of similarities that my championship had is here and I feel like that we can get it [a championship] here.
Are the Denver Nuggets an NBA Championship team this year?
We are! I can feel it. The way we’ve been playing, we don’t want anything less and we’re here for a reason. So I definitely feel like we can.
How often do you think about that 2020 Championship in LA?
The only thing that I would want from that is the Championship parade that we didn’t because of COVID-19. But getting one here in Denver; it would be great to get one here too!
You played in LA and Washington with Kyle Kuzma. Were you surprised by his production this season?
No. That’s his game. Because when he got drafted by LA, he was showing his game way before ‘Bron came here, but now he has the opportunity to showcase fully this time in D.C. and he’s been outstanding to me. I’ve watched some of his games and texted him here and there but he’s really been outstanding and I thought he was an All-Star.
LeBron broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s All-Time scoring record a few months ago. How cool was that?
I mean, every time I look up I think he’s breaking a record somewhere so it never ceases to amaze me. He’s been a great player his whole career and I’m just glad that I was a part of some of his accomplishments and still being able to congratulate him and stuff like that, man. It’s a GREAT milestone for him.