Should have stayed with a Nurse, not a Doc
FEEL THE GAME - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - September 18, 2020 - 12:00am

When you’re down 1-3, recover, then move on to win a 7-game series, that is impressive.  The Denver Nuggets did that against the Utah Jazz.  Again facing elimination against the LA Clippers with the same 1-3 slate, they came back and put an end to the much-hyped duo of you-know-who and those talk about Battle Los Angeles.

It has never happened in the NBA’s history that a team come back from a 1-3 deficit for two straight 7-game series and win them both and the Nuggets did just that.  To recall, the league only had thirteen 1-3 comebacks, and likewise, choke jobs.  Denver had two of them this postseason.  Amazing.  It was not just a win, it was simply annihilation of the Clippers, who were the favorites to win it all just days ago.

The above historical fact have the Clippers figuring twice, and Coach Doc Rivers had been on the wrong end on three of the 13 teams making a comeback after a 1-3 playoff disadvantage.   He coached the Orlando Magic in 2003 and blew a 3-1 series lead, losing the semifinals to Detroit.   Outclassing the San Antonio Spurs in the first round in 2015, Rivers, now with Clippers again blew a 3-1 to the Rockets. Then crap hit the fan again the other day.

Rivers also blew 3-2 series leads with his teams.  With the Boston Celtics, he did it thrice – 2009 2nd round versus Orlando, 2010 NBA Finals versus the Lakers and 2012 EC Finals versus Miami.  Does this mean he’s a bad coach?  Definitely not.  He’s an NBA champion coach and Rivers is reportedly able to handle bloated egos of players and commands respect inside the locker room.  It’s probably his inability to adjust on the fly, relying too much on his best players and sets.

Coaches are hired to be fired, never the superstars.  I’m not sure if this will happen to Rivers as reportedly, he’s the reason why Kawhi Leonard decided to play for the Clippers, and who in turn, made Paul George’s transfer possible.  But we can never know what is on team owner Steve Balmer’s mind.  He has pockets deeper than the Marianas Trench and he can do whatever he likes to improve his team.

Both superstars are in their prime and the Clippers will always be in contention as long as they have them.   What the team needs most is a point guard, someone in the mold of a Tony Parker or maybe a Kyle Lowry or a Fred VanVleet from Kawhi’s previous teams.  Or a new coach?

Laker fans, don’t rejoice yet and get cocky.  Denver is legit and they have the bast passing center in Nikola Jokic and if double-teamed, he can always find a cutting Jamal Murray.   Garry Harris had made it known to us that he’s an elite perimeter defender.  X-factors could be Jerami Grant and Michael Porter, Jr.  And don’t forget Paul Millsap. 

They’re still the underdogs and most had never expected them to go this far.  They may not defeat the Lakers but hey, the Nuggets are real.  They have everything to gain, especially if their playoff wizardry continues.

 As to Kawhi, he didn’t have to go to a Doc when all he really needed was Nurse for an NBA title.

bobbytoohotty@lycos.com

bobbymotus1961@gmail.com

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