Report: The reason the Clippers felt Doc Rivers had to be held accountable for collapse in playoffs
The problems the Los Angeles Clippers went through during the 2019-20 regular season resurfaced in the 2020 playoffs at Walt Disney World, which is why the team’s front office felt Doc Rivers had to be held accountable for the second-round collapse against the Denver Nuggets.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Clippers and Rivers parted ways since the Clips’ front office didn’t see many changes in terms of the issues the club was avoiding during the regular season.
Was the failure a one-off? Did the bizarre nature of the Orlando bubble, combined with players who had been sick with COVID-19 and others who had dealt with personal tragedy, result in a derailment? Or was it the outward manifestation, brought about by maximum stress, of issues that had been dogging the team for months?
In the days that followed the Game 7 loss, the consensus within the Clippers’ front office was the latter, sources said, and that forced some harsh realities to be dealt with — difficult assessments such as: If Doc Rivers wasn’t “Doc Rivers,” would he have lasted as long as Clippers coach as he had?
The Clippers had chemistry issues all season and that didn’t change in the postseason down in Orlando, Florida.
While the Clips defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the first round in six games and took a 3-1 series lead against the Nuggets in the conference semifinals, the team just never looked totally in sync.
Multiple reports have stated that small forward Paul George and big man Montrezl Harrell got into a heated altercation on the bench during the playoffs and that was likely not the only time George and Harrell butted heads during the 2019-20 campaign.
The Clippers have some major decisions to make this offseason. While Kawhi Leonard and George aren’t going to be traded, the rest of the roster could be placed on the trade block depending on who the new coach is.