Doc Rivers has made himself a target over recent years for making some truly horrendous moves as then-hybrid coach/GM of the Clippers — depleting draft picks for non-upgrades (Hello, 1st-round pick for Jeff Green), cutting Joe Ingles to keep Jared Cunningham, missing on draft selections they did have (Brice Johnson, CJ Wilcox), not advancing beyond the second round with prime Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, etc, etc. — but something he doesn’t deserve is heat for Coach of the Year votes.
The New York Times reported Wednesday Rivers was one of the eight coaches to receive votes. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens received none. You know where this is going — people are pointing at Doc and wondering how he got consideration for leading the Clippers to a 42-40 record and missing the postseason.
NBA Coaches Who Received "Coach of the Year" Votes:
Doc Rivers (!!!!!!!)
An NBA Coach Who Did NOT Receive a "Coach of the Year" Vote:
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) May 10, 2018
Now seems like a good time to let the haters in on a little secret: 2017-18 was by far Doc’s best year as head coach in a long time. Here’s a shortlist of what Doc had to deal on the first non-CP3/JJ Redick/Jamal Crawford season:
- Patrick Beverly gone for the season after 11 games
- Blake Griffin randomly traded in January
- Milos Teodosic lost half a season to foot injuries
- Danillo Gallinari only played 21 games because of multiple ass tears (Seriously.)
- Reliance on G-League players (CJ Williams, Ty Wallace, Jamil Wilson) and second-round picks (Sindarius Thornwell, Jawun Evans)
What I’m trying to get at here is Doc had a lot sh—t tossed his way and still managed to coach a ragtag squad of players you’ve never heard of to 42 wins. A million different lineup combinations had to be used and Wes Johnson’s ankles were sacrificed, but they still were in the playoff hunt until April in a loaded Western Conference.
Doc’s not terrible anymore. I swear to god. And the Clippers seem to think the same, because reports are saying he’s getting a contract extension.
This seems pretty good:
Not only are the Clippers the only team in the NBA this season to beat the teams with the four best records in the league — Rockets, Warriors, Raptors, and Celtics — but they are also now the only team in the NBA to beat all four teams on the road this season. Wow.
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) March 26, 2018