A Tale of Two Coaches

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A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by bobheckler on Wed May 17, 2017 9:18 am

It was the best of times for one coach, it was the worst of times for another.

Doc Rivers and Brad Stevens started their new jobs at the same time, 4 years ago, but with significantly different starting points.

The LA Clippers won 56 games under Vinny Del Negro in the 2012-2013 season.  They won the Pacific Division and were tied for 4th in the highly competitive Western Conference.  He had 23 year old Blake Griffin, a 27 year old Chris Paul and a 24 year old DeAndre Jordan.  In that same year the ancient leaders of the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers were 41-40, finishing 3rd in the Atlantic Division and  7th in the East.  The end was, clearly, in sight.

2013-2014 was Doc's first year in LA, inheriting 3 All-League players, all in their prime.  The Clippers finished with 57 wins, 3rd in the WC, but just one more than the previous year.  Brad Stevens' first year was, of course, a nightmare for any coach, but especially for a new coach.  The team he inherited had been blown up and he was handed a flotsam and jetsam roster of players.  Throughout the entire season Trader Danny had players in and out like a New Orleans cat house.  Brad didn't know who he was going to be designing plays for from one week to the next.  There were a total of 19 players on the Celtic roster that year that played minutes, but there were players like DJ White who were on the team but didn't play.  The franchise set a new record for players in green. The year of Keith Bogans produced only 25 wins.

The 2014-2015 season saw Doc's team win 57 games, another increase in wins.  Brad's team took a quantum leap up to 40 wins.

But in the two years after these Doc's team has finished the season with fewer years than the year before, 53 and 51, while Brad's team has continued its upward trajectory, surpassing Doc's team win total with 53.

Most importantly, Doc's team has never played in the Conference Finals in 4 years, while Brad's team will host the EC Finals round today.  You cannot win the Championship without getting to the Finals round and you cannot get to the Finals unless you first play in the Conference Finals round.  Brad Stevens has taken his team further than Doc Rivers has taken his team despite their vastly disparate starting points.

I have nothing but love for Doc.  He fought his way through a rebuild.  He won a championship with and for us.  You can argue that anybody could have won with that team but he actually did it.  The players who played for him all loved him.  This is not about putting Doc down, it's about recognizing what Brad Stevens has done in 4 years.  It is remarkable.  A mild-mannered, baby-faced assassin.  The Clark Kent of Coaching.

A GM recently said that he thought Jae Crowder was Danny's best deal.  Yeah, as far as "deals" go you could make that argument, as you could by saying trading Marcus Thornton and a late 1st round pick for IT was, but I think convincing Brad Stevens to leave his home and comfort zone at Butler and taking the leap of faith into the NBA coaching ranks was Danny's biggest coup.

And it is only going to get better.  Not only are we clearly about to get an upgrade in talent next year, but we see Brad learning game-to-game, much less season-to-season.  Only four years in and he has outcoached one-time Coach-of-the-Year Doc Rivers.


bob


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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by fierce on Wed May 17, 2017 9:34 am

Doc Rivers is a very good coach and I love Doc.

But Brad Stevens is a genius.
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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by Shamrock1000 on Wed May 17, 2017 4:59 pm

Let's pretend Brad wouldn't have bee only ~14 years old in 2007, and instead was the same age he was when he took over 4 years ago. How do you think the Pierce-Garnett-Allen Celtics would have done with Brad as a coach? I always knock Doc that those teams should have won more than one. Brad seems to be a genious, but could he have coached those teams? Did those players need a veteran coach, one who actually played in the NBA?? I don't know...

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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by worcester on Wed May 17, 2017 5:35 pm

Doc is a fine coach for older players. His GM is to blame for the Clippers under performance.
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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by gyso on Wed May 17, 2017 9:31 pm

worcester wrote:Doc is a fine coach for older players. His GM is to blame for the Clippers under performance.

Management should fire that GM.

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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by worcester on Wed May 17, 2017 9:41 pm

Doc puts in a good word for the GM with Ballmer. Selfless of him.
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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by gyso on Wed May 17, 2017 9:57 pm

worcester wrote:Doc puts in a good word for the GM with Ballmer. Selfless of him.

True, Doc is real close to the GM.

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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by NYCelt on Wed May 17, 2017 11:57 pm

I think it's premature to declare Brad a genius, but he's a damn good coach for a young and developing team and I'm glad we have him. I'm not sure we could have made a better choice.

Doc, on the other hand, has gotten to the point in his career where I think he'd rather risk flaming out with a veteran team than going through the growing pains of building with youth. I guess if he can continue to get paid for that, good for him.
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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by worcester on Thu May 18, 2017 10:44 am

I doubt the Clippers' GM will fire Doc.
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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by NYCelt on Thu May 18, 2017 10:57 am

worcester wrote:I doubt the Clippers' GM will fire Doc.

Not unless Doc develops a split personality.
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Re: A Tale of Two Coaches

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Thu May 18, 2017 1:10 pm

Think about the team we have: IT, here by a trade done by Danny, Bradley, the only hold over from the Doc era, Jae, here by trading Rondo, Al, ? who knows if doc would have encouraged the signing, Marcus Smart, young player who would probably have had to fight for any minutes, Doc still playing the veteran's until they couldn't walk, and what would have happened to Rozier? Brown?

Doc only wanted a veteran team, had no patience for young players. he had no choice with Rondo, those vets loved him right from the start Big Baby, he had little patience with him but Baby forced him to play him because he needed him, the same with Leon Powe.

I am glad Doc left, I am further glad that these young players are learning the game from a young, fresh minded coach who knows how to handle them. What happens from here on, this season is a huge success. AND, WE ARE STILL PLAYING, DOC'S TEAM HAS GONE HOME AGAIN FOR THE SECOND TIME IN TWO YEARS.

Doc is a front running coach, a good guy, who did not want to deal with the mess that might have been here. He wanted no part of trading Pierce and Garnett, and that writing was on the wall, so he beat it
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