Doc Rivers is a really good NBA coach. There is no doubt about that. But for all you fans who think Doc Rivers is going to deliver the Los Angeles Clippers to the promised land, get that thought out of your head. The only way that happens is with an upgraded roster. Doc Rivers can coach a championship caliber team to a championship. He can also coach a championship caliber team to a deep playoff run but come up short. What he can’t do is coach a second round team to a championship. That’s not a knock, it’s just reality. There are precious few coaches who can take second round talent and win the NBA Championship.
If the Clippers want to win a championship, they need to make roster moves. The Problem with that is sometimes teams make the wrong moves, and you just never know what the wrong moves are before you make them. If teams knew, they wouldn’t make them. Does trading Eric Bledsoe make sense? Not if Chris Paul signs with another team, it doesn’t. Does trading for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett make sense? Not unless the Clippers have some other major pieces top go with them, it doesn’t. Rivers couldn’t coach them past the first round this past year in Boston. What makes people think he could in Los Angeles with one more year on them in a tougher conference?
If the Clippers trade for Garnett and Pierce, they had better not give up too much. Those two are not going to be around for very long, and they do not have enough left in the tank to carry a team. If the Clippers can hang on to both Paul and Blake Griffin and add Pierce and Garnett, then Rivers has some pieces. Is it enough to win a title? It could be if they get some production from the rest of the roster. That is why they cannot give everybody up to make a deal.
The rumored Dwight Howard for Griffin deal could turn out to be a good one if Howard can get back to somewhere near his normal self. But that is no guarantee at his age. That is a deal that could easily backfire.
Bottom line here, Rivers is a good coach. The Clippers could do a lot worse. But he’s not Nick Saban. Nobody in the NBA is, not even Phil Jackson. To win championships in the NBA, you need championship players. Chris Paul is a championship caliber layer. Griffin is on his way to becoming a championship caliber player. But whether Howard, Pierce, or Garnett can be ever again is debatable. As a Clippers fan, I would not want to give up Griffin or Bledsoe to find out.