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Kristian Winfield: The Nuggets are on top of the world and the Clippers have hit rock bottom

By Kristian Winfield, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

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- What's next for the Clippers?

Firing Doc Rivers, that's what's next.

Yes, there's a shortage of Black head coaches in the NBA, but Rivers has lost eight Game 7s in his career as a head coach. It's by far the most Game 7 losses by any coach in NBA history, with no other coach owning more than five such losses.

Rivers is also the only coach in NBA history to blow three 3-1 series leads.

He blew the first such series lead in 2003 coaching Tracy McGrady and the Orlando Magic. The second happened in 2015, when the Lob City Clippers built a 3-1 series lead over the Houston Rockets, only to be outscored by a total of 44 points over the final three games.

 

This loss has a much more deflating feeling. Those Rockets were the better team in 2015. These Clippers, on paper, are supposed to be the best team in basketball, led by a two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP, and a Hall of Fame-caliber coach who won a championship in 2008 in Boston.

As good as they were, the Clippers came up short.

The Clippers blew three consecutive double digit leads, never adjusted to the Nugget defense and ran an offense that showed little-to-no player movement. The Clippers moved the ball to the open man, yes, but that open man was never open for long - especially not in Game 7 - because he was stationery, allowing the defense to scramble and close out.

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