This might be the most depressing way the Clippers could have been eliminated from the playoffs. Not with a big blown lead, or a huge blowout, or a nailbiter down the stretch, but with a steady stream of bricks in the 4th quarter and brilliant play from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. This loss wasn’t on Doc Rivers (though he did play Montrezl Harrell far too much), but on the Clippers as a collective team. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were ice cold, particularly in the second half, and neither was able to find open space frequently.

Their defense, while energetic, was scattershot, with overaggressive double teams and continued overfouling the order of the day. Despite it being a 7-game series, and with plenty of time to prepare, practice, and strategize, they seemed to lack any real strategy on that end. The Clippers were never able to stop Nikola Jokic, and they were eliminated by the Nuggets because of it.

It was the offense, however, for the 3rd game in a row, that let the Clippers down. They scored a mere 30 points in the second half, and seemingly ran no plays. It was just ISO, pick and roll, and ISO again. Again, there was no plan of attack, no attempt to pick out Denver’s weak spots and exploit them. There were merely barfed jumpers, weak drives into the paint, and lots of standing around.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, defended vigorously, continuously attacked the Clippers’ weak points, and played each possession on both ends with crisp execution. They were the better team, top to bottom, and Jamal Murray (40 points on 15-26 shooting) and Nikola Jokic (16 points, 22 rebounds, 13 assists) were by far the best players on the court.

The Clippers’ two superstars, however, never got going. Paul George was again in foul trouble in the first half, and Kawhi Leonard looked flat from the jump, his jumpers regularly falling short or clanking to the side. Neither made a field goal in the 4th quarter, truly incredible considering how well they’d played most of this series. But, then again, that’s why Game 7’s should always be avoided. Anything can happen. Tonight, the Clippers were frigid, the Nuggets were brilliant, and the end result wasn’t close.

We will have more thoughts on what will come next later, but the LA Clippers have been eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the 2nd round after being up 3-1 in the series, and face a miserable offseason of wondering what went wrong, and where.

Rob’s Note: There will be no full recap coming later – this was a huge bummer, and we all need to detox a bit.

116 Comments

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    The team was playing reasonably well during the seeding games, but it feel like their chemistry was just miserable ever since they got back to “full strength” when Lou and Trez came back, and then PG13 had his bout w/ depression/anxiety against Dallas. I suspect that we’ll be hearing more details about what was going on behind the scenes now that the season is over.

    • Avatar Justin Moore says:

      I don’t wanna HEAR any excuses about how Playoff Poo is depressed or whatever. Take ownership for your crappy performance. Period.

      • Avatar chogokin says:

        I don’t think it was so much an excuse as an explanation. And to his credit he looked much better (still not great, but better) since then.

        My point isn’t excusing George’s subpar performance. My point is I think that this is a case of “there had to have been something going on in the background that we don’t know about yet, but we probably will eventually,” kinda like how everyone on Lob City hated each other for the last few years.

  • Avatar ajk777 says:

    Sigh. And now I bet the Nuggets are going to lose to fucking Lakers just because the NBA wants the Lakers to win it all. Lakers winning the championship would be one of the most scripted things I have ever seen, and it would officially tell me to just stop watching the NBA altogether. NBA wanting them to win ALL BECAUSE they most likely want to honor Kobe’s death. I like Kobe, but FFS, don’t screw every other team, and every fan that isn’t a Laker fan just to make a WWE-like story like that happen and to honor Kobe. Kobe wouldn’t want that. One player’s death should not decide the outcome of the season, no matter how good they are.

    Sigh. I’m sorry. I’m just so frustrated with this team and the NBA as a whole. Hopefully Ballmer does the right thing and fire Doc. Hell, I’d go so far as to fire Lawrence Frank. Start over. Idk.

    Regardless of our team, whatever we all do, YOU HAVE TO cheer for the Heat now to win it all. Lakers and Celtics should never get another championship this century. Go Heat!

    Also, that block by Bam was one of the greatest things I have ever seen in the NBA ever. Like, how?!

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      Don’t blame Lakers. They’ve been actually played hard all season long. They signed actual solid defensive-minded role players. People laughed at them like “KCP lmao”, “Danny Green washed up lol”, “Caruso lol”… but they all play defense. They all play for the team. They all don’t care about their own stats.

    • Avatar dhpat says:

      I wouldn’t dismiss Denver’s chances against Lakers. We definitely imploded in Game 7, but Denver showed formidable grit and grind and composure. I would love to see a Finals between Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets.
      During the 3rd Q, I thought that my head was going to explode; I had to move to another TV in the room since I wanted to curse at the TV (I can’t with my 4 year old watching).
      Denver was the better team. Congrats to them. I hope that they stick it to the Lakers.
      Our Clippers still have a long way to go, but I do hope that we don’t make any hasty decisions after this weird CV-19 season.
      KL and PG13 had bummer games, but so did the rest of the team. Complete team loss.
      I don’t think that you can blame Game 7 on Doc. Games 5 and 6, yes, you can blame Doc.

    • Avatar AndreyDKS says:

      Don´t worry, ajk777: OF COURSE NBA is scripted, along with all sports. OF COURSE NBA Finals will be Lakers x Celtics, with Lakers winning by 4 x 3 over Boston. NEVER IN A LIFETIME Clippers would organically comeback 31 points over Golden State if this wasn´t a scripted ritual. Last year´s Drake’s “6” of course pointed to a Toronto 4-2 GSW.

      LEARN GEMATRIA and you will see how all this is scripted. Best sources are “Simple Truth TV” and “Gematria Effect News” youtube channels. We do not deserve giving our energies and life over this.

      Sorry about being the bearer of the bad news, but as a Clipper fan since 2014 and active member of Clipsnation since then I could not be more deceived after understanding this. I hope this comment won´t be deleted, people at least deserve the right to check for this and free up of this lie. If anybody thinks I am talking bullshit just disregard this comment and live your fantasy.

      Thank you all for tall those years, farewell and good luck in life.

  • Avatar Clipperfernald says:

    33 points in the second half!!! What???? I just can’t fathom that!!! For a third straight game!! My god!!! And Kawhi 0 points in the fourth???? What was going on!!! This team was broken

  • Avatar kylethepile says:

    Lol, life longer here. I guess I expected different but did I really?!

  • Scriabin Scriabin says:

    One year left of KL and PG…so how does the team rebuild this time? All those missing draft picks, no SGA, and (hopefully) a new coach… That’s an enormous hole to dig a team out of.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    > Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were ice cold, particularly in the second half, and neither was able to find open space frequently.

    Nothing surprised at all. If this team wanted to win, they all have to stay RED HOT. Because there are no system. They just play “It’s my turn, your turn” offense all night long. And they all have to stay RED HOT because they have Trez & Lou in the rotation. They don’t even try to play defense. Their lack of size, attitude or fundamentals kept hurting their defense schemes.

    Did you remember their first couple of games in the bubble where Joakim Noah played? I had never seen that level of beautiful ball movement or defensive comminucations or rotations from Clippers through the season. They constantly moved the ball, they kept playing defense all night long. Why? Because there were no Trez or Lou lineups. There were 2 star players and a bunch of role players who know their roles, play defense, share the ball and help each other. There were no Lou-Trez show. I really loved those games.

    I’m not saying we should start Noah next season or give him a backup C role after Zu. I’ve been saying that we needed Playoff-build role players rather than “ofFeNsiVe pLAyerS” who can’t play defense. And it’s not like they can score against elite teams which have size/length/strength/BBIQ. They can’t. And they’ve only dominated bench unit or G-leaguers in the regular season when the team was up by 20-30. I was the only gut who kept saying we should trade Trez & Lou away because I knew they will get annihilated in the Playoffs. Some people here really said to me that “Don’t underestimate Trez! He can score! Lou can score! They’re better than Lakers role players because they average 20pts!”

    I’m glad Nuggets won. Fuck Rivers.

  • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

    Don’t know what to say. Not even mad or sad. Hugged my little with time winding down as he knew what a blow it was to lose. But to lose by this catastrophic meltdown after two straight meltdowns?! It’s not even about Doc. The entire team quit. Feel like we were sold a bunch of BS this whole season. Maybe Lee Jenkins really earned his paycheck spinning a team that was building chemistry and just on skating on the edge of greatness when it wasn’t. A good (note: not great!) team despite bad coaching doesn’t lose like this. Maybe the rumbles about bad chemistry should have been heeded instead of swept under the rug.

    I’ve been a fan for 31 years and this team really makes me question what the fuck should I care for the first time?! Gotta think long and hard about this one…

    • Avatar cliptakular says:

      I feel you man. I’ve only been a fan for 15 years and I feel that I may need to step back during the regular season so I won’t feel as emotionally invested. It’s painful that’s for sure. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through right now.

      • Josh Josh says:

        I’m not a type to leave someone or something once they do something even as horrible and blowing a 3-1, but three times man… I don’t know if these Clippers are worth my time anymore.

    • Avatar Justin Moore says:

      Man this is so real. I actually have slowly detached myself from the team over time, mostly due to life circumstances (work and school), but this one hits really hard… like is this team ever going to get its act together?

    • Avatar wwshep says:

      Yeah really hard to care about a team that doesn’t seem to care itself.

      Hard to ignore the Doc connection to playoff collapses as the one constant in all this. And as long as he’s around I’m not confident we’ll ever get over the hump.

      Lastly I do absolutely think there are chemistry issues at play. I think for sure Lou and Trez never bought into being role players and want to be primary scorers and racking up the 6MOY stats. Especially Trez. Those two really killed us in these playoffs, and I feel like at least 1 (Trez) and maybe both have to go.

      I still have some modicum of faith in Jerry West, and hopefully he and Ballmer will make some moves in the offseason to right the ship. I’m pretty sure if we just run it back with Doc at the helm we’ll again be looking at a 1st or 2nd round playoff exit.

    • Avatar Killaclip says:

      If the team quit it’s on Doc because he’s had 3 different clipper teams quit when faced with adversity. OKC-Hous-Den

    • Robert Flom Robert Flom says:

      I’d hang in there man. I do think it’s best to try to avoid being as emotionally wrapped up in sports as so many of us are, but there is definitely a path to being a fan where something like this isn’t soul-crushing.

  • Avatar Alan Ng says:

    Could be worse.

    At least lakers can’t brag that their team knocked out the clippers.

  • Avatar Clipperfernald says:

    Screw COVID-19. If this never happened we would’ve been crowned champions already.

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      Nah. You can’t win a championship with Lou & Trez in the lineups.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      …..there’d also be 200k+ fewer deaths. But a championship would’ve been nice too, yes.

    • Avatar Justin Moore says:

      yawn…excuses.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      Not with Doc as our coach. It would have been the usual second-round exit.

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      Fernald: You mite have something there. The bubble, as we will likely hear in the days to come, affected some guys worse than others. Jokic, a euro, and Murray, a Canadian, may have fared better inside than maybe others who thrive on their support groups and families. Euros mite be more acclimated to “road shows” and other deprivations and the same mite be said for the cold clime Canadians.

      It’s really hard to say but I lean towards your point of view. If you’ve just “had it” with the bubble life, then it would be that much easier to just play a bit softer when down. Heard one announcer put it this way: “they seem to be letting go of the rope.”

  • Avatar Alan Ng says:

    So this squad had the same success as Lob City.

  • Avatar wwshep says:

    OK I’ve had more than enough of Clipper bball. We’ll see if any interesting moves are made in the offseason to renew my interest.

    If it’s just stale old Doc running it back again with Trez and Lou 6MOY bullshit then I’m probably out as a fan.

    Sucks that I invested so much emotional energy into this team, but oh well. That’s over for now.

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      Shep: as Lord Tennyson said: “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” Sub in “been a passionate fan” for “loved” and I say this saying is true. Why? Because, as fans, we make ourselves vulnerable in the sense that our team can push through and achieve a title or, on the flip side, can fall flat. No effing guarantees in love or in fandom. Being vulnerable to those realities empowers us and makes us humble yet strong. We’re better for it.

  • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

    I was furious after the Houston meltdown. What’s strange is that I’m not even upset right now, just numb. This team was honestly difficult to root for all year. They were frustrating to watch and not very likeable. They assumed they had a championship on lock instead of actually working to earn it. And Doc, as usual, settled on his script for the season in October and refused to ever change anything, even in Game 7.

    This team deserves all the mockery they’re getting. Unfortunately, we as fans are being laughed at too and we actually don’t deserve this. Nobody deserves 50 years and counting of this. Never mind the rest of the league clowning them, this team should be embarrassed about how they let their own fans down.

    • Avatar John Maclean says:

      I feel the same. In fact I’m not even really numb or that upset. Like you said this team was not particularly likable. I was much more invested in Lob City because it was built more organically. Throughout history all the great teams do it through their draft. The only exception were the Heatles and they had LB freaking James and D Wade and they STILL lost the first year. Houston has been trying to buy a championship too and it just never really works. This Denver team was built the healthy way and I really think they are for real. Lakers better watch out too. What a wonderful team to root for so congrats to Nuggets fans. I also didn’t realize Michael Malone was such a cool dude either.

      Like it or not other than possibly a change at coach I think we’re going to have to run most of it back again. There was probably a modicum of chemistry developed that we can build on rather than throwing more hail marys for “stars.” The one attainable guy we should try to get to me would bet Schroeder. OKC might be willing to move on if we were to package Shamet in the right deal.

      Finally, PG and Kawhi are going no where else unless we trade them. Maybe Lebron retires after next year (doubt it) and one of them bolts to the Lakers but that’s about it. I’m wondering if Kawhi was just burned out on everything over the last 18 months. The drama of moving to Toronto and powering through to the title on a bad leg and then this new team and all the pandemic and civil unrest misery might have just taken its toll. He looked fried tonight. He’s ultimately human too. GO NUGGETS!

      • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

        “The one attainable guy we should try to get to me would bet Schroeder.”

        Meh. After Jamal, Lou and now Trez, I’m done with the sixth man of the year contenders. We need actual role players who can defend.

        • Avatar wwshep says:

          Yeah Schoeder is the last thing we need. No more 6MOY score first guys.

          A facilitator, distributor, type point guard with high Bball IQ and ability to drive and kick would be a nice add. And a true backup (or even better starting) center is what we need the most. And then maybe another 3&D wing at backup SF instead of Shamet who sucks on D.

          Ready to move on for sure from Trez and Lou who pretty much sabotaged this year’s playoff run.

          And Doc REALLY needs to go, but probably won’t.

      • Avatar wwshep says:

        Agree about the likability of the team. It definitely was not a fun season and can only remember a handful of games that were enjoyable to watch.

        Something about the team even through they were winning they just never really had any on court chemistry.

      • Avatar Killaclip says:

        Lob City seems pretty bought considering the Doc era version

        Bledsoe for JJ and Dudley
        Aminu >CP3

    • Avatar World B. We says:

      Based Freestyle 100%.

  • Avatar Thretch says:

    Kudos to the Nuggets. As I said at the beginning, I like them and it of weren’t for them playing the Clips I’d be rooting for them.

    The Nuggets played smart. We didn’t. We were dumb and gutless. I’m not blaming it all on Doc … the players were poor as well. If Kawhi and Lou were really leaders, they would have tried to do something different after barfing up games 5 & 6. So there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    And mostly I blame myself for caring.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    Brian Windhorst @ESPN: This is going to be a bitter offseason, but not one that rival executives expect will bring huge change. The Clippers will likely try to re-sign free agents Harrell, Morris and JaMychal Green (if he opts out).
    ===============

    Yes we have to keep Harrell, Morris and JaMychal yes yes… what!? Harrell!? Fuckin Harrell!? Hell nah!!!! “Try to re-sign” Harrell!?

  • Avatar Kamil Kaźmierkiewicz says:

    Albert Einstein used to say “If you want different result change the methods” but some things will never change – right Doc. I am from Polnd and have been rooting for this team for team for almost 20 years but never seen such a crap game plan for playoffs match up. Clippers don’t have a leader who can shaking up the team on the floor. Doc is so limited with his thinking and can not manage even a bunch of kids at the playground. Sad but true. Anyway I am still with the team as this franchise is much more than this current group of people. Maybe next year… Congrats to Denver and grretings to all Clippers fans.

  • Avatar Garganot says:

    Watched it with sound off until 3rd q then sound back on. Had to turn off after missed tomahawk slam dunk by GEORGE & then he gets rebound & throws ball out of bounds. In 4th quarter. “Worse than expected, “ Rooted for team, sent my energy & tried my best as a clippers fan.
    Nothing broken in house, wife & kid giving dad space cause his team lost again.
    did not drink or smoke for this game
    On purpose to try & stay level headed.
    Clippers Curse definitely still Exists doc rivers caught it from Donald sterling it comes in out of remission durning important moments. anyone who thinks other wise is just fooling themselves & needs to take a trip to HATI or the D.R.(opps , wait can’t travel anywhere because of COVID fuckteen) Denver must eat & drink that good strong Colorado CBD at halftime & put depression pills in Clippers halftime Gatorade.
    Hats off to Denver 3-1 twice in a row.
    We played like losers in the last three 2nd half’s,. yes living & playing in the bubble must be weird. When your mentally down no home crowd to fire you back up.
    The best warriors shine under pressure & Denver showed they have more warriors & more heart & soul than this group of clippers.
    Lots of changes coming soon hopefully.
    I would not stay if I was K.L.. After next year. Sorry & hurts Me to say that they should trade George for a good point guard & Fire entire coaching staff . No Lou no Trez no Shammet. No Reggie. & maybe more changes. Keep the rest & see what they come up with. I hate to say This but what we just witnessed was the last chance Clippers had to (never mind win championship)
    but just get to WCF., For the foreseeable future.
    Life goes on, back to wearing masks & searching for a job after losing all three of the ones I had due to COVID Fuckteen. LA county sucks Gov Newsome is an idiot, wish his house burnt in a fire like mine did and lost everything with no renters insurance & back on Unemployment cut down bye $2/3rds from retarded power hungry government kooks.

    I Appreciate 213Hoops & all the fans, writers & hard work that goes into this too make a community ( after the Clipsnation *ullsh*t) a group of people that love basketball have passion for sport & wish their team well.
    Have a nice day/ night/ summer-
    opps it’s halfway through September. WTF….

    • Avatar dhpat says:

      How we lost — just a repeat of the Houston series in 2015, just brutal.
      But, we’re all shell shocked right now, but we have to remember we have had some successes in Playoffs — remember that crazy game against Memphis when we came back nearly 30 pts with Nick Young dropping 3’s?
      It is just basketball. It isn’t life. If you are lucky to have a family — just hug them (when you calm down — I personally had to move to another room as well).
      I wonder what Mr. Ballmer is going to do. Doc definitely deserves all of the criticism.
      Lot of serious decision making.
      BTW, I’m just soaking in all of the shit that my Laker fan friends are sending my way. When we win a Chip, I’ll remember how shitty I felt today (and many years prior). It is why we are fans. Cheer up friends, tomorrow’s another day!

    • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

      Good luck to you, wish you the best. I also lost my job to “COVID Fuckteen.”

    • Avatar World B. We says:

      Hey man…just know you aren’t alone. It’ll get better or it won’t, but in pockets of this burning state, you’ve got brothers and sisters who are right on your level as far as the Clippers go. United by pain.

  • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

    “This loss wasn’t on Doc Rivers,” yet regarding defense, “they seemed to lack any real strategy on that end”? Isn’t defense part of the head coach’s responsibilities? Isn’t it the job of the head coach to prepare the team to play both ways? I think this failure was all on Doc Rivers.

  • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

    Doc, handed a talented collection of players, never built a cohesive team or installed an effective offense. Instead he just postured and offered excuses all season about never having a full squad. He failed, sorry. The potential of this Clippers team was a mirage.

  • Avatar david adida says:

    Doc is a star players’ coach, and that’s why star players love to play for him. Unfortunately, trying to be your star players’ loyal buddy is not conducive to instilling the discipline and tenacity a full team needs to win a championship. Doc’s previous star-studded Clippers teams lacked strength of mind. Although they had good players in their prime, they never got out of the second round. This team never developed it, and Doc did not have a Garnett-type in your face player/leader to save the team when adversity hit. The Nuggets played harder and smarter when their season was on the line. Our stars and coaches wilted under the pressure. End of story. Hopefully, it is also the end of Doc’s story as our coach.

  • Avatar genoboost says:

    So I guess the clippers really are cursed? We traded for the finals MVP and ended up just as far as we ever got.

  • Avatar World B. We says:

    Demote Doc. Re-sign everyone with the exception being Montrezl Harrell only if he is willing to help facilitate a sign and trade. Otherwise trade him before the mid-season trade deadline. He’s going to want big money, and he’s too one dimensional to be worth it. Lou on the other hand, we should honor his reasonable contract. He was good to us, It’s time to be good to him. Rich Paul can get the fuck out of our locker room though uh thank you.

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    Doc’s lack of system made Kawhi/George/Zu look like garbage.
    Doc’s unbridled love for Lou & Trez made this team look like a meme team.

    No more Lou & Trez. No more Doc.

  • Avatar Labis says:

    Stayed up all night to watch this shit show from Germany.

    Not wasting any more thoughts on the game.

    BUT

    They have to change stuff!

    Hopefully Kawhi voices his displeasure with the team internally and forces FO to make changes. if they bring the same group back I am not watching next season.

    – Lou has to go. Hopefully some team is dum enough to trade for him. Unplayable in the Playoffs when teams prepare actually

    – get rid of Morris. We don’t need guys who think there the shit, but rather solid roleplayers

    – Try to sign & trade Trez (maybe in a package with Beverly). Undersized centers who can’t shoot, defend and REBOUND (remember Reggie Evans?)

    I would rather have an old Ibaka (been in big games) who can shoot the three and defends for a cheap/reasonable deal

    – we need shooters!

    – we need a PG who can shoot.

    – We need a new Coach. Although I am not sure Atkinson, D‘Antoni etc are good fits/improvement

    – we need to run plays and cannot rely on Iso ball all the time

  • Avatar CrossRoads says:

    History made again. Twice was not enough, apparently. Doc is the only NBA coach to blow 3-1 series lead 3x.
    No other coach has done it more than once ever.
    Phil Jackson already called it out 10 years ago on River’s second half meltdowns.
    Retaining Rivers as HC would be adding major insult to injury.
    He was given all the opportunities and powers – as president, dream team of asst coaches in Sam, Ty, Rex, a very deep team expected to win it all this year.
    Since he is a man preaching Justice no end, he should step down with grace. Put your words into action, “doc!” It is your noble thing to do. To get fired would be more disastrous. Fact is, other NBA coaches have been fired for much lesser reasons.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    This is the first time in his tenure that I feel like Doc really deserves to go. Too many mistakes, never playing cohesive basketball, completely failing to meet expectations, not making any adjustments. I defended him through the whole lob city era, but this time, I just can’t.

    But I do wonder if given the how much of a leader Doc has been for not only the Clippers but the rest of the NBA during a period of racial unrest, if that saves his job. I can’t help but feel like Doc’s leadership through the two most crazy radical social injustice events in NBA history has saved himself from his mediocre coaching on the court. Question will be will it be enough to save his job again. I just can’t see him getting fired right now. If there is any hope, I think it would be up to Ballmer will make up some other front office position for Doc to take, or have Doc step away from the game on his own.

    I don’t think Doc is a bad coach, but I do think he’s average, and this team deserves better than average.

    • Avatar osamu6238 says:

      I almost feel like Doc would be best served in some leadership role with the players association right now.

    • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

      “I don’t think Doc is a bad coach”

      People keep saying this, but what is he actually good at?

      X’s and O’s? We don’t run plays on offense and give up wide-open threes on defense.

      Gameplanning and adjustments? LOL.

      Rotations? Trez should have been benched in the first round. Doc plays all our worst defenders together for long stretches of games and wonders why we can’t get stops.

      Timeout usage? He won’t call timeout until the other team has fully erased our double-digit leads and has all the momentum.

      Managing egos? Lob City’s locker room became toxic on his watch and he did nothing to fix it.

      Motivating players? Did these players look motivated last night?

      As far as I can tell, the only thing Doc is good at is making excuses. When you’re bad at every actual responsibility of a coach, you are a bad coach.

      • Avatar jbugs says:

        Doc is good at attracting stars, which is very important in this league and shouldn’t be discounted. He’s also good at drawing plays coming out of time outs.

        He also has some track record of making guys better. I’m not 100% if he deserves credit for this, but it’s possible he deserves credit for whatever development DJ and Zubac achieved. Again, I’m not sure.

        Finally, Doc is actually great when he has a less talented roster. Last year’s clippers team was one of my all time favorites. It was perceived to be filled with misfits and rejects (I personally thought it was a very well balanced roster with the right balance of talent and fit). Doc get’s a ton of credit, in my book, for how hard that team played and how well it came together in big moments. Doc’s line ups last year were great. The ball movements and defense were awesome. The rebounding was there.

        Maybe the right way to look at doc is that he is actually a great coach when he isn’t focusing on managing his stars. The most frustrating thing he does is when he leaves in bench units too long or when he takes out his stars when they are hot or heating up. He claims to be trying to manage their loads, but when he doesn’t have “stars” on his team, he plays everyone at the right times and they end up winning games and being happy. This whole season was disappointing and a lot of it could be attributed to Doc (I say next up is Trez, then PG, then Leonard as the GM (who I will never forgive for forcing that trade)).

        • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

          “Doc is good at attracting stars”

          He’s not THAT good, otherwise we would have been able to attract Kawhi without also having to trade our whole future away in the process. He also failed to attract KD a few years ago when we had his best friend DJ on the roster.

          Also, is it really the coach attracting stars? Let’s be honest. This is the NBA, not college basketball. There are a lot of reasons why stars choose teams, and I don’t think the coach even makes the list.

          “when he doesn’t have ‘stars’ on his team, he plays everyone at the right times”

          Really? Could have fooled me with all the minutes he was giving to Avery Bradley. Regardless of whether or not we have stars, the front office routinely has to trade players away to save Doc from himself. That’s not the sign of a coach who “plays everyone at the right times” regardless of circumstances.

          • Avatar jbugs says:

            C’mon. Doc has attracted more stars to the Clippers in his tenure than the Clippers (in los angeles) did in it’s entire history. It was doc that enabled us to re-sign blake and CP. It was doc that made the clippers respectable enough in the first place for Leonard to even consider us. Without Doc, Leonard likely would have gone to the Lakers (who also are in LA). You’re judging doc for missing on KD? What coach has done a better job of attracting stars than doc?? 29 teams miss on every star signing. Doc has fewer misses than every coach.

            The avery bradley minutes ended up being brilliant. It enabled us to get JMG. Benching avery would not have improved our position currently or last year at all.

          • Avatar TheGreatestShowman says:

            Kawhi and PG are on record saying they wanted to play for Doc. Just look at his gravitas in the bubble. Guys covet that leadership. Doesn’t make him a great coach but it’s important.

            Look, let’s call it out – the optics of firing one of the preeminent African-American coach in the midst of a racial justice movement are really tough no matter the justification.

          • Avatar Based Freestyle says:

            I’m simply not convinced that Doc is the one attracting the stars. Market, other players on the roster, shoe deals, etc. all factor into these decisions way more than the coach, IMO. Like, let’s not pretend LeBron chose the Lakers because he just had to play for Luke Walton.

            Let’s say for the sake of argument that Doc actually is attracting the stars. What good is that when he can’t win anything with them?

            The Avery Bradley minutes weren’t “genius” at all. He was terrible. The actual genius was the front office managing to trade him for someone who could actually play.

          • Avatar jbugs says:

            @TGS, I’m with you regarding firing a prominent black coach. I wouldn’t be excited about any of the high profile black coaches at the moment either. I’d be interested in seeing what Monty Williams could do, but outside of Monty, there aren’t any other prominent black coaches that I’d get excited over if we are talking about replacing Doc.

            I never understood how FO’s scout head coaches. I’m never good at predicting which coaches would do a good job. It seems like such a crapshoot to me. At this point, I’d be most excited if they picked someone out of obscurity. I wouldn’t want Ty Lue, or Cassel. I don’t think white coaches are an option. Definitely not for this team with it’s history.

          • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

            @jbugs – It doesn’t matter what ethnicity the coach is. I would pick the best coach available based on their personal philosophy. I would have coaching prospects watch randomly picked games and not let them know what the outcome is from the Clippers’ perspective and also small sample-size other games and have the coaching prospect address during the film session as to what each coach should do with adjustments.

    • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

      I agree with you in that Doc is not a bad coach. He’s just not the right coach for a team with championship expectations. To psychoanalyze things, I think Doc has been coaching for so long that he’s stuck in his ways. I think when he first coached the Celtics, he coached a pretty bad Celtics team and I think he had been away from the game for a few years as the ESPN/ABC color commentator during games after his stint as the Magic coach. I think that time away from him helped him study the game from an outsider’s perspective that helped shape his views a little more of coaching. He’d best be served to step away from the game for a couple years and go back to the media and watch the game as an outsider to see how other teams operate and maybe erase some of his bad habits, that is if he still desires to be a coach.

      With that being said, I think he is a good coach for a team that is rebuilding or a team with no expectations. Doc is not a championship-caliber coach. I think he lucked into his championship because he had three first-ballot Hall of Famers that could coach the team themselves and would hold everyone accountable.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      Screw it, let’s make up a new position for him a la Lee Jenkins then…he just can’t be the coach for a team w/ championship expectations.

  • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

    #FireDocRivers

  • Avatar Chris Chang says:

    PG – “But I think, internally, we’ve always felt this is not a championship-or-bust year for us”
    I’m not sure if Kawhi felt that way too, but if they really felt that way then this team was doomed from the beginning.
    PG is the king of excuses, and never owns up to his own poor play. I really thought he was one of the cool good guys in the league but the more he talks the more arrogant and out of touch he sounds. His arrogance and confidence is fake and he cannot back it up with his play on the court.
    He should take a lesson from Kawhi about having a little bit of humility, in win or loss.
    That goes for many others on this team, including PatBev and Trez, Morris, who just needs to shut up and play.
    I really feel that the turning point in this series was when Morris instigated Millsap to get them fired up in Game 5 when Denver seemed almost ready to fold for the season. They are really becoming a hard group to like.

  • Avatar pegitom says:

    since we have a penchant for signing aging players that do well against us in the previous year’s playoffs, does this mean that we are acquiring Paul Milsap this off-season?

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