On Tuesday night, the Clippers bowed out embarrassingly in their decisive game seven against the Nuggets. The upset victory marks the second time this postseason that they’ve come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series. To win this series, however, was rather incredible:
Clippers were up 3-1 in this series with a 16-point lead in game 5 and a 19-point lead in game 6.— Austin Krell (@KrellTPL) September 16, 2020
What an unbelievable meltdown.
The Clippers head into the offseason looking to resolve their inconsistencies from this season. Personnel change–both on-court and off-court–could accompany the franchise’s plans for the Fall. As the Nuggets pulled away in this affair and the reality began to set in that the Clippers were going to have regrets at the front of their collective minds this Fall, some began to ponder the future of head coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles. A league source told The Painted Lines that, despite the embarrassing disappointment, a dismissal of Rivers would be surprising.
“He’s built too much human equity within that organization,” a source said. “They’ve been through a lot; the Sterling scandal, him being so outspoken on racial injustice in the last few months, etc. And he’s well-liked by the owner, organization, other players.”
An NBA personnel man told me, “I think he’s safe. They’re gonna give him at least next year. But no doubt he was out coached this series. No doubt about it. His unwillingness to adjust away from using Montrezl Harrell in games 5 and 6 did them in. That will underscore the memory of this series. And the fact that Playoff P played like Wayoff P this game didn’t help.”
While Rivers appears safe for now, the Clippers head into an offseason with a sour taste in their mouths after falling well short of expectations in 2019-20.