With the Firing of Head Coach Doc Rivers, The Clippers Look to Move Forward After Their Embarrassing Postseason Collapse.

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Brock Adams, Staff Writer

Entering the 2019-2020 NBA season the Los Angeles The Clippers and their added additions, NBA All-Star Paul George and Finals MVP Kawhi Lenard, looked to be one of the top contenders for an NBA title. Speculation began to grow that they may be the best team in L.A; however, they finished the regular season with a respectable record of 49 and 23 earning them the second seed in the NBA Playoffs. After defeating the young and talented Mavericks team in six games, the Clipper’s attention shifted to the third-seeded nuggets. It seemed to be smooth sailing for the Clippers as they took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best of seven series putting them one game away from their first franchise appearance in the Western Conference Finals. Needless to say, the Clipper’s unraveled blowing double-digit second-half leads and ultimately finding them in a game seven win or go home situation. During the entirety of the fourth quarter, Paul George and Kawhi Lenard were nowhere to be found as the Clippers were eliminated with a final score of 104-89. With the firing of head coach Doc Rivers and upcoming free agency, the question now being asked is, “What’s next?”

This is not the first time the Clippers have blown a three to one lead with a chance to go to the Western Conference Finals. In 2015 the Houston Rockets, led by James Harden, clawed their way back from a three-one deficit, defeating Chris Paul and the Lob-City Clippers in seven games. The Clippers as a franchise are now 0-8 in series that would have enabled them to advance to the conference finals. This is the longest active streak in the NBA. Although the rosters have changed completely sense 2015, one element of the team has remained the same, head coach Doc Rivers. Rivers was fired from the clippers on September 28, 2020, and has since signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. Possible head coaches the clippers might be interested include current clipper’s assistant coach Tyronn Lue and former Piston’s head coach Jeff Van Gundy. Regardless of who the Clippers choose as their head coach, the Doc Rivers era in LA is officially over.

The clippers have one year left before both Lenard and George can opt-out of their current contract and enter free agency. Fans who once worried about the looming free agency may not be willing to risk their two stars exiting LA with nothing in return. Trading Kawhi Lenard seems very unlikely as he is the current face of the franchise, but Paul George may be on the chopping block. Paul George struggled immensely in the post-season, averaging 20.23 points per game and a plus-minus of +2 a game. These are not the numbers the Clippers expected from a six-time NBA All-Star.

As of now, it is all speculation on the changes that will be made to both the front office and the roster for the Clippers. We can expect more roster changes after the Clippers officially name their head coach, who they hope will finally give them the title of LA’s Team.

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