Doc Rivers Blaming Others For His Disastrous Blown Series Leads Record

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers is apparently starting to feel the heat. His team had a 3-0 series lead on the Toronto Raptors in their opening-round series, but have been thoroughly outplayed in the last two games and now are up just 3-2 heading to Toronto for Game 6.

It's pretty trendy these days to discuss the fact that, historically throughout his coaching career, Rivers' teams have constantly blown big series leads. He is, in fact, the only coach in NBA history to have blown three 3-1 series leads. But he's not buying that narrative, and today came up with a wad of excuses for the media.

 "It's easy to use me as an example," Rivers said. "But I wish y'all would tell the whole story with me. All right? My Orlando team [in 2003] was the eighth seed. No one gives me credit for getting up against the [Detroit] Pistons, who won the title. That was an eighth seed. I want you to go back and look at that roster. I dare you to go back and look at that roster. And you would say, 'What a hell of a coaching job.' Really." 

Rivers continued to defend himself: "I mean, the Clipper team [in 2015] that we lost 3-1, Chris Paul didn't play the first two games, and was playing on one leg, and we didn't have home court. And then the last one [when the Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets in 2020], to me, is the one we blew. That's the one I took. We blew that. And that was in the bubble. And anything can happen in the bubble. There's no home court. Game 7 would have been in LA."

Blaming his roster, blaming injuries, blaming... the bubble? This isn't exactly a good look for Rivers, whose teams have now lost 7 of their last 8 chances to close out a series. 

He has also failed to close out a series 31 times in his career. And observers and fans on both sides of the aisle are picking up on the desperation. Justin Termine on SiriusXM NBA Radio said this afternoon, "He's starting to crack! We can start taking early bets as to what Doc's excuse is gonna be if they blow this series!"

Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports