With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, LA Clippers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
One of the faces for the new-look Clippers will now be head coach Doc Rivers, who enters his sixth season at the helm. Rivers, who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics, delivered one of his best career coaching performances in 2017-18, guiding the Clippers to a 42-40 record in a stacked Western Conference. He accomplished the feat despite a plethora of injuries to key players.
The franchise opted to sign Rivers to a contract extension following the regular season. In five years with the Clippers, the organization has amassed the league’s fifth-best record. The team has also gone to the playoffs in four of those years.
"Doc is one of the top coaches in the NBA, coming off one of his finest seasons since joining the Clippers," Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "We trust Doc to lead a competitive, tough, hard-working team while upholding a culture of accountability expected to resonate throughout the organization."
Rivers has compiled an 846-624 record as an NBA head coach, which also included a stop in Orlando.
Rivers will have a far more complete lineup with which to work in 2018-19. Even though the franchise traded Blake Griffin and moved on from center DeAndre Jordan, the team will get healthy and added top rookies–Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson–in the offseason.
A versatile, athletic lineup should allow Rivers to utilize some creativity in crafting his rotations. Last season, he was forced to rely on multiple rookies and undrafted free agents to get the team through a tough stretch.
Ballmer also said during the offseason that the team did not believe in tanking, so Rivers will do his best to guide the Clippers to another playoff run in 2018-19.
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