Championship Critique - LA Clippers
As I watched the LA Clippers get dominated by the Golden State Warriors (12|7|16), it made me realized two things: (1) While Doc Rivers is a master motivator, he isn't the coach that his reputation presumes; and, (2) Blake Griffin either needs to be the focal point of the offense or get traded somewhere where he can thrive as a top ten player.
Doc Rivers has been very disappointing before and after his Celtics big four era. Without the combination of KG, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo, Doc Rivers doesn't have a signature moment to his name (as a coach). Doc Rivers record without a big three ia 143-184. I bring up this point, because Doc Rivers actually has the team tailored to beat the Golden State Warriors but he is consistently outcoached. I wrote a piece detailing Golden State's Weaknesses, and the teams that could exploit those weaknesses. Among the teams were the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers.
These teams all have talented post players and a multitude of tall perimeter defenders. When they have played against the Warriors, with their guns, they give the Warriors trouble, except the LA Clippers. The Clippers don't play in the post, they don't crash the glass (bottom 1/3 in offensive rebounding), and they run too many screens for J.J. Redick. LA's style of play leads to steals and transition points for a team that would move the scoreboard exponentially even with an denominator attached. This falls squarely on the shoulders of Doc Rivers. Doc has to devise a better game plan. Blake Griffin is LA's best player, and the offense has to move through him. Blake has to bully his way to double teams (similar to Lebron), which leaves J.J Redick, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Jordan open for easy buckets. If Doc can find the X's and O's to prioritize Blake, LA will win, and finally make it past the second round; he'll finally have a signature moment outside of the Big Four Era in Boston.
Speaking of Boston, where Doc last had a season that met expectations, the Celtics are the most sensible trading destination for Blake (if Doc still wants to run the offense through Chris Paul, and win) (Houston, and Utah have interesting win-win scenarios, too). Boston would send newly acquired Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, and one of their first round picks to acquire Blake Griffin, Austin Rivers, and their hero Paul Pierce (if he wanted to retire a Celtic). Doc has shot down rumors but this would benefit both teams. Boston would get the star they so desperately covet and LA would get a team that would have depth, tailor to CP3 strengths, and be exceptional on defense. Either as Doc Rivers the executive or Doc Rivers the coach, he needs to put his stamp on this team to make them champions!