Early Exit for Clippers Difficult to Understand

On September 15, the Los Angeles Clippers suffered a humiliating loss in the second round of the NBA playoffs and were eliminated from the postseason. A team that looked like a championship-caliber club disappointed its fans and raised questions about the team’s future.

After blowing a three games to one lead over the Denver Nuggets and having a good lead in Game 7, losing this serious made them a joke to the league. They were the favorites to win it all this year. They had two superstars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, a good roster of reliable, complementary players, and an elite coach. It looked like the Clippers would win their first NBA Championship. But, you have to play the games on the court, not on paper.

After this loss, the Clippers organization fired head coach Doc Rivers. Rivers is a 1-time champion with Boston back in 2008. The crazy thing about this decision is that Rivers took the Clippers franchise to the playoffs in six of his seven seasons in charge of the team. His time being the head coach is easily the most successful period in franchise history for the Clippers. Before he arrived, they had only made the playoffs nine times in 43 years.

Unfortunately, when a team disappoints as bad as they did, the franchise usually gets rid of the head coach. Coach Rivers should not have trouble finding a job—many teams can use his help and guidance. Philadelphia and New Orleans are two teams very interested in acquiring him to be their head coach. Doc Rivers has a .582-win percentage and has only missed the playoffs five times in his whole coaching career, which spans 21 years.

The Clippers will go back to the drawing board, and Rivers will get his next shot somewhere else next year.