Doc Rivers is considered by many to be one of the better coaches in the NBA. But for the third time in his coaching career, a team he coached has blown a 3-1 lead. Rivers has been with the Clippers for seven years. Is it time that the Clippers parted ways with the future Hall of Fame coach?
Rivers made light before Game 7 that “ra ra” speeches are only for the movies. Perhaps his team could have used one before or sometime during the game. The Clippers fell apart down the stretch and ended up getting blown out. Rivers was out-coached by Mike Malone. The Clippers had everyone fooled.
A fair amount of blame falls on Rivers. Even in the NBA, with stars like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, it’s the coaches job to get his team ready for game day. The coach has to make a plan together, walk his team through it, and make sure they understand it, and when part of that plan inevitably goes wrong, make the proper adjustments. Rivers did not do that this series.
Despite the shortcomings of Doc Rivers this series, he should not be fired. That would be a total surprise to most people. Kawhi and George have another year left on their deal, and maybe the two can develop better chemistry next year. The Clippers need the two of them to mesh better together and with everyone else.
If Rivers can’t get it done next year, then he is 100% gone. Another year with this team and not providing will spell the end of Rivers’ tenure with the Clippers, maybe even coaching in general. Doc better spend his offseason watching a lot of film and come back with some fire, or else he’ll join Paul Pierce on ESPN or somewhere else.