Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers, while an NBA champion during his time with the Boston Celtics, still has been a part of some troubling playoff collapses.
And Rivers was none too thrilled when that got brought up Wednesday while speaking to reporters before Philadelphia’s Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors. The 76ers, who won each of the first three games, now hold a 3-2 series lead in a best-of-seven.
“Well, it’s easy to use me as an example, but I wish y’all would tell the whole story with me. All right?,” Rivers shot back.
First, Rivers addressed his 2002-03 Orlando Magic. The Magic held a 3-1 lead over the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
“My Orlando team was the eighth seed. No one gives me credit for getting (there) against the Pistons, who won the title. That was an eighth seed,” he said. “Go look at that, I want you to go back and look at that roster. I dare you to go back and look at that roster, and you would say, ‘What a hell of a coaching job.’ Really.”
Rivers then made his way to the 2014-15 Clippers. Los Angeles took a 3-1 lead over the Houston Rockets in the second round before dropping each of the final three games.
“I mean, the Clipper team that we lost 3-1, Chris Paul didn’t play in the first two games. He was playing on one leg,” Rivers said. “And we didn’t have home court.”
And then Rivers got to the 2019-20 edition of the Clippers, the latest of such collapses. Los Angeles, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, coughed up a 3-1 series lead against the Denver Nuggets with double-digit losses in the final two games.
“And then the last one, to me, is the one we blew. That’s the one I (say) ‘We blew that,’ ” Rivers said. “That was in the bubble and anything can happen in the bubble. There’s no home court. Game Seven would have been in LA. But it just happens.
“So, I would say with me, some of them is I got to do better always. I always take my own responsibility. And then some of it is circumstances happen, you know?,” River added before noting Philadelphia’s current situation. “Let’s win it and then we don’t have to talk about it.”
You can listen to the video here.
The 76ers will travel back to Toronto for Game 6 on Thursday with hopes of advancing in the NBA playoffs.