As a die-hard basketball fan, it’s hard not to be swept up in the excitement of the NBA playoffs every year. But as a fan of Doc Rivers’ teams, the constant disappointment of watching them blow leads and lose critical Game 7 matchups is almost too much to bear. It’s a recurring pattern that has plagued Rivers’ coaching career, and as the playoffs approach each season, I can’t help but wonder if this will finally be the year that he breaks the streak.
Doc Rivers has had a long and illustrious career as an NBA coach. He’s been the head coach of the Orlando Magic, the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Clippers, and now the Philadelphia 76ers. But throughout his career, there’s one thing that seems to follow him: his inability to hold onto leads in the playoffs and win Game 7s.
The Curse of Doc Rivers
The curse of Doc Rivers has been well-documented over the years. In his career as an NBA head coach, Rivers has blown countless leads in the playoffs, and has lost an astonishing number of Game 7s.
It all started in 2003, when Rivers was the head coach of the Orlando Magic. The Magic had a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Detroit Pistons, but ended up losing the series in seven games. It was a disappointing loss for Rivers and the Magic, and it set the tone for what would become a recurring theme in Rivers’ coaching career.
In 2010, Rivers was coaching the Boston Celtics, and they found themselves in a similar situation. They had a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Los Angeles Lakers, but they lost Game 6 and Game 7 to give the Lakers the championship. It was another heartbreaking loss for Rivers and his team, and it only added to the growing narrative that Rivers was unable to win big games when it mattered most.
The trend continued when Rivers took over as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013. In the 2014 playoffs, the Clippers had a 2-0 lead in their second-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but ended up losing the series in six games. Then, in the 2015 playoffs, the Clippers had a 3-1 lead in their first-round series against the Houston Rockets, but lost three straight games to give the Rockets the series win.
The Importance of Game 7s
One of the reasons why Rivers’ playoff struggles have been so noticeable is because of the importance of Game 7s in the NBA playoffs. Game 7s are often seen as the ultimate test of a team’s ability to perform under pressure, and they can make or break a team’s season. It’s also where coaches can make their mark and prove their worth to their team and the league.
For Rivers, though, Game 7s have been a nightmare. He’s lost seven Game 7s in his career, including four with the Clippers. It’s a trend that has become impossible to ignore, and it’s a big reason why many people question whether Rivers has what it takes to coach a team to a championship.
The Doc Rivers Narrative
The narrative around Rivers’ playoff struggles has become so strong that it’s difficult to separate the truth from the hyperbole. Some people believe that Rivers is simply a bad coach who can’t win when it matters most. Others think that he’s a great coach who has just had some bad luck in the playoffs.
There’s no doubt that Rivers is a talented coach who has had a lot of success in the regular season. He’s won Coach of the Year award and has led his teams to numerous playoff appearances. But the fact remains that he’s struggled when it comes to winning playoff series and Game 7s.
Ultimately, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Rivers is not a bad coach, and he’s not cursed. But he has had some bad luck in the playoffs, and he’s made some mistakes that have cost his teams games and series.
Can Rivers Overcome His Playoff Struggles?
The big question now is whether Rivers can overcome his playoff struggles and lead his current team, the Philadelphia 76ers, to a championship. The Sixers have a talented roster led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and many people believe that they have what it takes to win it all.
Rivers has shown that he’s capable of making adjustments and leading his teams to success in the regular season. But the playoffs are a different beast, and the pressure is much higher. If Rivers wants to silence the doubters and win a championship, he’ll need to find a way to overcome his playoff struggles and lead his team to victory in the big games.
Doc Rivers’ history of blowing NBA playoffs leads and losing Game 7s is a well-known and unfortunate part of his coaching career. While it’s not fair to say that he’s a bad coach or that he’s cursed, there’s no denying that he’s struggled in the playoffs and has made some costly mistakes. The question now is whether he can overcome his playoff struggles and lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a championship, or whether the curse of Doc Rivers will continue to haunt him.