Clippers out of playoffs - looks like a rebuild for Doc Rivers after all
After a 134-115 loss to the Denver Nuggets last night, the Los Angeles Clippers have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. They are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference with a 42/38 record and no chance of making the post-season with only two more games to play.
Doc was coach of the Boston Celtics from 2004 to 2013, winning one Championship in 2008. He chose to leave Boston and head west to the Clippers in 2013, in part because he did not want to face a rebuild. It appears he will have to confront one now.
When Rivers went to the Clippers, he was appointed coach and Vice President of Basketball Operations and later promoted to President of Basketball Operations. In 2017 NBA legend Jerry West was appointed Executive Board Member for the Clippers and two months later, Doc was no longer serving as President.
The timelines are interesting here. West announced that he was heading to the Clippers on June 14, 2017, and exactly two weeks laterChris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets. One of the other LA superstars, Blake Griffin, was traded to the Detroit Pistons in January of 2018. There is no question that a rebuild started last summer, and the Clips missing the playoffs is the result.
Jerry West has a history of rebuilds-on-the-fly. He did that successfully with both the Lakers and Warriors. I doubt we will see tanking here, but the rebuild is in progress. I doubt Doc Rivers saw this coming when he left.