The reality about Doc Rivers: What to make of Daryl Morey’s endorsement and limitless criticism of 76ers coach

On the heels of one other disappointing NBA Playoff exit for the 76ers, many followers have been clamoring for the ouster of Doc Rivers.

As a substitute, they received a agency endorsement from Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey on Friday afternoon that Rivers will certainly be the coach subsequent season.

Rivers himself by no means expressed any doubt about his standing, saying Thursday evening that he would not “worry about his job.” His confidence is sensible when you think about the monetary ramifications for the franchise.

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Doc Rivers’ contract with 76ers

The Sixers have 24 million causes to not hearth Rivers. He is making $8 million over the subsequent three seasons, and that’s most likely going to be sufficient justification to maintain him round.

It is necessary to notice that Rivers was employed by basic supervisor Elton Model earlier than Morey got here to the Sixers. Whereas the 2 have all the time supported one another publicly, Rivers was by no means Morey’s rent.

Why does Doc Rivers get a lot hate as 76ers coach?

Rivers is a straightforward goal as a result of he’s winless in each press convention he is ever attended.

He infamously threw Ben Simmons under the bus final yr, defended his legacy by bashing his previous rosters and claimed that nobody had any expectations for the Sixers this season regardless of Vegas handicapping their win whole between 50 and 51 video games throughout the preseason.

These Vegas win totals are an honest proxy for what affordable expectations can be given the expertise Rivers had on his roster. By that measure, he is usually underperformed, albeit not by a loopy quantity. He is 16.5 wins beneath what Vegas anticipated of his groups over the course of 23 years. 

The postseason is the place Rivers will get probably the most pushback. He is the one coach in league historical past to have blown three 3-1 leads. He is additionally blown 4 separate 3-2 leads.

His groups have imploded on the largest levels, and that shall be an enormous a part of his legacy each time he retires.

Why Doc Rivers criticism would possibly go too far

Playoff failures apart, Rivers has coached for 23 seasons. He will maintain plenty of information, each good and dangerous, due to the huge quantity of video games on his resume.

Alongside these notorious defeats, he additionally has some undeniably spectacular accomplishments, together with a hoop in 2008 with the Celtics.

The most important criticism that I and others levy in opposition to Rivers is that he would not modify nicely. That can be a minimum of partly why he is blown so many leads. Whether or not it’s sticking too lengthy with Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell again in his Clippers days or stubbornly using with DeAndre Jordan this season, Rivers likes who he likes. He would not care what different folks assume.

However Rivers additionally does plenty of issues nicely that followers and media aren’t aware of. Setting rotations is a small a part of a coach’s job. Managing relationships throughout the locker room might be extra priceless in the long term. Rivers appears to be excellent at that side, Simmons hiccup apart.

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Rivers additionally deserves some credit score for making changes in a while within the Warmth collection that a minimum of allowed the Sixers to push it to 6 video games. Getting Joel Embiid again was clearly the largest issue of their improved play, however Rivers additionally integrated some strategic tinkering like mixing up defensive coverages to decelerate Tyler Herro and altering the spacing of the crew’s offense to efficiently fight the Warmth fronting Embiid within the submit.

The reality is that Rivers is not the worst coach within the NBA, regardless of what you could learn on Twitter. He definitely has his flaws, and I believe that plenty of the gripes in opposition to him are authentic. However he additionally does some issues nicely.

Is mediocre teaching a excessive sufficient bar for a crew attempting to win a championship? That’s the place the haters could have extra of a leg to face on. The Sixers haven’t got an enormous expertise benefit over each different crew within the league, so they should discover each potential space to maximise their aggressive edge.

If they’re assured that they will discover a actual difference-maker as a coach, then that is perhaps the motivator that possession must swallow the remainder of Rivers’ deal and begin contemporary. If not, then followers are most likely going to have to attend till Rivers’ assured cash will get slightly smaller earlier than Morey could make his personal rent.


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