Doc Rivers Deserves a Medal

Doc should run away with this year’s NBA Coach of the Year award for his efforts with the Los Angeles Clippers. Rivers has had a revival of sorts this season and has once again proven that he belongs among the handful of elite coaches in the NBA.

The Association is so star-driven and has such a talent gap between top tier players and bottom feeders, that generally coaching doesn’t affect the game as much as we see in other major sports. The better basketball team wins in the long run; there aren’t many ‘fluke upsets’ in the NBA Playoffs.

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Doc has already taken a completely inferior Clippers team much further than they ever should have gone. His best players wouldn’t start on many of his Western Conference foes, yet Doc still finds ways to compete on a nightly basis.

Being down 3-2 to the defending world champion Golden State Warriors is a massive accomplishment. It’s hard to even fathom a team in which Lou Williams and Montrez Harrell are the best players being able to hang with the big boys out west, but Doc has dazzled us with his offensive schemes and defensive pressures.

The Clippers understand that you can’t shut down Thompson, Curry, and Durant. It’s flat out impossible. They seem to be shadowing one of the three though and nullifying them throughout the game. It’s easier to beat a two headed monster than it is a three headed one.

Offensively the Clippers have pick & rolled the Warriors to death. Their motion and screen setting have continuously caused the Warriors to have to switch matchups defensively, leading to them being caught out of position regularly.

The penetration, roll action, and spot-up shooting of Lou Williams and Montrez Harrell in pick & roll sets has been something to marvel at. Doc continues to put his best players in positions that they can succeed and do what they do best.

The Clippers defense is both nasty and tenacious and Rivers’ coaching schemes have a touch of gold in them. Now on to Los Angeles to take care of business at home and gear up for a game seven in Oakland.

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