Lot of suppressed memories, thanks

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I would only add that Doc's lack of creativity and willingness/ability to make adjustments looked incredibly on display during last season's playoff flameout against the Celtics. Once Mazzula put his 2 big lineup out there Doc just looked flummoxed.

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Sorry in advance for the long reply but I have slightly overlapping theory for Doc. I thought the piece was good and very fair. However, I think a layed that was missed is that Doc was just never as good as people thought in any regard, playoffs or regular season. I will admit, I was low on Doc from long before he came to Philly for the underlying reasons I'll mention below (and I do have receipts on this).

After the Bucks job hubbub I finally started to hear more people talk about a position on him I have held for years: he never coaches a team to "success" that doesn't have overwhelming talent. Yes, he won a title in Boston. He had FOUR future HOFers all in or very near their primes in a much weaker league. They clashed with LeBron, we was better than their best player, sure. But the next 4 or 5 best guys on the floor were all Celtics! That was true to some degree in any series that Boston team was in. Frankly, it should be seen as an underachievement to have only won one with that group!

But let's dig deeper here. Despite the overwhelming talent advantage night to night, that Boston team was merely good on offense. Where they blew people away was on defense. Was Doc Rivers in charge of that defense? Not really. Even he admitted at the time that Thibs was the coordinator there. So, Doc...what would ya say you do here? Getting an above average offense out of a team with 4 HOFers, when most GOOD teams are lucky to have 1.5 All Stars, isn't really impressive. And turning over the defense to a guy we now know is a historically elite defensive coach is also just not impressive.

Ok, fine, but what about the Clippers? I'm sorry, I may be being unfair, but he went to a team with a top 25 (at worst) player of all time and an all-time offensive engine, in his prime. But that's not all, he also had a perennial All-NBA and borderline MVP guy in Griffin, a borderline All Star and all defense team guy in DJ, AND one of the best shooters of all time. All were in their prime. Maybe getting that team to elite offense is impressive. But I pose a counterfactual: if instead, a team with the talent I described were just average or decent on offense, wouldn't be consider that a bit of a failure? If yes, then being better than that can't be a wild success either. It is meeting expectations, by definition.

One other quick Doc/Clippers stat for you: Doc and Brett Brown had the same tenures in LAC and Philly, respectively. When Brett got here, his best player was MCW and Embiid had was a year away from starting his two missed seasons. When Doc got there his best player was already a sure fire first ballot HOFer just entering his prime. Doc won exactly one more playoff series with the Clippers than Brett did with the Sixers.

Anyway, I take your point about Doc simplifying things to good regular season effect. But I think if you ran "the simulation" 1000 times, and gave a dead average, replacement level coach, rosters with prime: KG, Pierce, Rondo, Allen, CP3, Griffin, Embiid, Harden (to say nothing of the casts beyond littered with all stars and elite role players), you would get damn near the same outcomes in the regular season, and very probably better ones in the post season.

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Exactly right!!! Well said....

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