Doc Better Start Getting Creative With The Prescriptions, Or This Clippers Team May Die A Painful Death
A lose to the Golden State Warriors, after leading by 23 point earlier in the game, will get the most publicity. That's the game outsiders will, unfortunately, look at as a vintage Clippers collapse. What those people would be failing to see is that that very game was probably the best basketball the Clippers have played all season. The problems with this team run far deeper than the most explosive team in basketball getting 'NBA Jam' hot in the 4th quarter. If you need anymore evidence of that then look no further than demoralizing losses to the struggling Trailblazers and Raptors. The Clippers have no identity, and even worse, it doesn't look like their Head Coach/General Manager has any interest in developing one.
Clippers fans should have seen the early season struggles coming. All things considered, 6-7 isn't a completely tragic onset to a season for a team that underwent nearly 50% roster turnover and has shown the ability to go on a run. What is disconcerting is that Doc Rivers has not only shown an inability to find a successful rotation, but he shown an inability to even try. Lance Stephenson, one of the bigger offseason moves, albeit a risky one, can't buy playing time with all the undeserved money in his bank account. Josh Smith looks so confused and hesitant out on the floor that you would swear he's doing Calculus instead of playing basketball. The only thing backup "point guard" Austin Rivers, also known as 'The Son That Doesn't Shine', is dishing out is a false sense of confidence. The team looks disjointed. The 19 turnovers, that felt like 35, against the Raptors speak to that, and even the numbers don't describe how elementary some of them were.
Doc Rivers needs to get it together. This isn't the same team as last year. There is a whole different set of problems, and he need to stop prescribing the same old aspirin. He made a conscious decision as the General Manager of the Clippers to bring a bunch of new faces. A bunch of new faces that came along with enigmatic personalities. A bunch of new faces that were sure to result in a bunch of brand new headaches. Coaching the team the same way it was coached last year isn't going to work. Most because it's a completely different team, but also because this team, the one that was so adept at limiting the opposition's possessions last year, hasn't out rebounded their opponent in ONE SINGLE GAME this year. Even if this team is losing games there should still be signs of improvement, yet yesterday afternoon was probably the single worst game in the history of the Doc Rivers/Chris Paul era. Something needs to change and fast, because if they keep trending in the wrong direction Doc Rivers has nowhere to look but in the mirror, and if you think he is immune to an impromptu early dismissal you haven't been paying attention to the NBA. Just ask Kevin McHale...