Doc Rivers vs Vinny Del Negro

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Is Doc Rivers a better coach than Vinny Del Negro?
Yes - much better
83%
 83%  [54]
Yes - slightly better
7%
 7%  [5]
No
3%
 3%  [2]
Uncertain
6%
 6%  [4]
Total Votes : 65

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namzug
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Didn't want to start a whole new thread, so I figured I'd put it in here.

I don't think there is any question that Doc is a far superior coach to Vinny. I also thought that there wasn't any question that our key players have improved vastly under Doc after having their growth stalled by Vinny for a year.

When Vinny got Blake, Blake had been carrying our team (which wasn't very good) and then got blessed with CP3. He automatically gave all the responsibility to CP3 without a second though. He relied heavily on veterans, because he could not coach up the younger players.

If I asked you who would you rather have defending the rim this year K Mart or DJ it would sound like a stupid question. This was not the case two years ago. It would have been Lamar last year, but Lamar has too many things going on this year to be depended on. What was different from my viewpoint? Doc gave DJ a goal, a set place to head to with some obvious key points to focus on.

During the offseason a lot of us wanted Blake to work with Hakeem. Doc wanted him to work from the elbow and face up more. It seems to have worked pretty well.

It is still up to the player to put in the work, but Doc is definitely giving direction.

clipper*joe
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^^^ Doc is a proven coach that demands, and gets respect. That has been the single most important part of having him here. Of course, that is just my opinion. He made guys like DJ put on their big boy pants and take everything seriously. I guess wanting to trade him as soon as he got here substantiates what I'm saying. VDN didn't stall anyone's growth, he had a team in "win now" mode and we had liabilities when it came to crunch time. When teams were feasting on "hack-a-DJ" in the regular season and playoffs with wonderful success, it made it easy to sit out the liabilities.

Blake was NOT "vastly improved" by Doc (LOL), BG worked on his game relentlessly in the off-season just like he has every off-season. If anything, lets give credit to Bob Thate who has really improved BG. Without Blake hitting his shots, Doc would have to alter the offense...Or shall I say...Gentry and Lue???? Hmmm. Seems like our offense resembles more of a tribute to the Suns than say...The Celtics? Just say'n.

Funny that you say VDN was Blessed with CP3 cause by my estimation, Doc was blessed with a 54 win team that ranked in the top 10 in both offense and defense when he came here. Also, VDN didn't have young players aside from Bledsoe and a lot of players that were released or packaged away. By my estimation, Bledsoe was a hot commodity when he left here. What did Doc do? get more veterans to WIN NOW! We had a group of veterans that were in the rotation cause it was WIN NOW when VDN was here! So now you're saying Doc can coach them up? Where are they? The team seems just as old, if not older than the team VDN had.

Tell me something, would Doc have every took a chance on our team when VDN took over? Hell no! Doc isn't about developing players, he's about accumulating the most prime talent to give him the best opportunity to win. that's why he came here, the closest thing to a sure thing. Doc is giving direction and bring able to get respect from players makes it easy for him to tell his players what he wants from them and what they need to work on. But lets not get things twisted, Doc wasn't there developing anyone. BG has always had the work ethic do the things to improve him game and someone telling him to do them isn't what made BG successful.

DJ was given a goal for sure. Not a new goal, but a goal for him to concentrate on what he can be great at. That was to grab boards and anchor. Doc didn't tell him to improve his offensive game, he basically told him not to worry about offense and become our version of Perkins. Doc didn't hype him up as being a future offensive player, but a central piece on defense. In short, he asked him to do less than he wanted so he can be better at what this team needed...REBOUNDING.

clipper*joe
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Here's another thing. What would you think if we got swept in the first round? How about the second round? This team is more stacked and experienced than any team VDN had. Keep that in mind if Doc doesn't meet your expectations. People said all we needed was a real coach to lead this team. Well, we got him. Time will tell but Doc has arguably the deepest team in the league, most of his old staff, and a season removed head coach.

ClippersDA
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The west is also more stacked this year than ever

clipper*joe
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And we're a higher seed than ever before? What's your point?

jarca
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Rose wasn't MVP candidate till VDN was let go. BG was never in any MVP consideration till VDN left. I'm seeing a trend of all star becoming superstars as soon as VDN left

clipper*joe
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Here's another trend:

Both were up for that award in their 3rd-4th year of playing. Like i said, great players mature right around that time.

jarca
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Too bad blake couldn't mature last year on his 3rd year Sad

CP3Heliflopter
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Ranked 1st in 3 point defense with Rivers as coach.

27th in 2012 with VDN as coach.

26th in 2013 with VDN as coach.

Much bigger improvement in defensive schemes with Doc as the coach. Our RS record is not noticeably better mainly because our starting SG has barely played, our players were getting used to a new system and coach, CP3 was out for so long and we had no capable backup bigs at the beginning of the season(this is on Doc tbh).

Our offensive schemes are definitely more Gentry inspired than Doc inspired though. Those Celtics teams were not that great offensively aside from one season but they didn't have the offensive players we had but yea the huge improvement in 3 point defense, plays out of timeouts, the respect Doc has from his players, etc makes him a big upgrade over VDN.

clipper*joe
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What about overall defense?

clipper*joe
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He sat on the bench his first year. Very Happy

So technically, this is his third year. That's why he got ROY in his second season.

namzug
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Giving direction and motivation is part of developing. The player still has to work on his craft, but it tells him what to work on. If I tell you to go work on a car that is having issues without any clues to what the issues are it's going to take you a while, but if I tell you to go work on the brakes it could save time and make your efforts much more effective. VDN just used the black tape to cover up the service lights.

If VDN told DJ go get better with no direction. Dj did but it was too little in too many categories. It was not enough to cover up the lapses. Even you have said something like you didn't want to get excited with DJ's improvement because of the flashes he showed early last year.

Doc told DJ concentrate on rebounding and defense. DJ still had to do the work, and concentrate on his areas of concern.

You also have to use the season to work out the kinks, not on getting winning streaks during the season. I was in awe of the streak, but most of us know that we should have been working DJ in some of those games during the 4th. Lamar was going to be Lamar, it would have been nice to show some confidence.

Let's not confuse developing players with a rebuilding project. Doc helped develop Rondo, Perkins, and Avery in my opinion (Perkins got sent out and never seemed as useful). Yes, he relied on Garnett, Allen and Pierce; but that doesn't take away from the work with the other 3. If I was Doc and I see the rebuilding project Boston has going on, and I see the chance there is here I'd take it too. Why not? Especially if you see the potential in the young players and the core.

Doc was ok with sending KG to La for DJ before he got traded when he was going to be in Boston with DJ, so maybe it's not all smoke and mirrors when he says he wouldn't have traded KG for DJ. Maybe it is but unless you know Doc personally I doubt you know the real truth.

CP3Heliflopter
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6th in the league defensively vs 8th last season but last season we had a lower defensive rating(not sure if I would attribute this to teams getting better offensively or teams getting worse defensively). I will still take this team handily defensively over last season though.

Our defensive rating this season is not as good as it could be because at the beginning of the season we were horrible defensively(ranked 30th). This was due to our players learning a new system and because

we had horrible backup bigs like Mullens play big minutes. Last season our defense relied too heavily on generating turnovers and we constantly gave up open 3s. Not to mention our defense completely collapsed towards the end of the season and when we couldn't force turnovers our defense got exposed badly.

This season we are elite at 3 point defense, getting steals and transition defense. We still have some weaknesses last season though like defensive rebounding, rim protection and boxing out. Last season we were actually better at rebounding and boxing out.

clipper*joe
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Giving direction and motivation is part of Coaching and managing. That's not developing in the sense of making a player better in terms of improving basketball skills. Using your metaphor, if someone told me to fix the brakes on my car when i know the drums are grinding metal to metal...What's the point? I'm the one who's going to fix it in the end. And while I'd appreciate the thought, I'm putting in the time, not the person telling me the obvious. That's how I see BG. BG was going to do it anyway. In terms of DJ, I see it as Doc telling DJ not to worry about his peers getting straight A's in school and just worry about the 3 classes he's good at. he's telling him excel in those classes you're good at while you may get straight A's, you'll be top in those classes. Doc isn't showing him how to rebound better, he's telling him to concentrate on rebounding and he'll be top of the class. Doc is showing him how he wants him to anchor the defense but as someone posted not too long ago, the stat of measurement for points in the paint is bad for him. That's the only thing Doc is showing him and the rest of the players how he wants his plan to work. But that is what coaches do. They implement their offense and defense and teach the guys but they don't develop them in terms of skillset. They develop them to fit into their schemes, plans, or philosophy.

clipper*joe
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Thanks for the info.

cleepers
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The biggest difference is that now when we lose a game, posters here actually hold players accountable for weak performances (as some of us always did) instead of screaming for the coach's head as a knee-jerk reaction.

We'll see how much better Doc is (or not) in the playoffs... especially if Memphis sneaks into that 6-spot. Until then, this thread is opinion and speculation.

tense2
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We may have been better at boxing out (not sure how you can substantiate that), but we're slightly better rebounding team this year then last years with 42.8 rebounds per game compared to 41.6.

DeandreJordanG.O.A.T.
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Vinny del negro is better to be honest

Jerediscool
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Technicaly this is Blakes 4th year. He sat on the bench his first (that doesn't count) then he was with baron/mo, then CP/mo, then CP/Bled and now CP/collison.

clipper*joe
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I meant it in playing time on the court. The ROY award marks his first season playing, so technically, this is his third year playing even though he's been in the league four years.

cleepers
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Yeah, but that number is bound to go up when you factor in that we were 19th in pace last year and we're 8th this year. Our defensive rebounding % is up 1%, but our offensive rebounding % is down 3.8%.

JQuick32
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That's probably because the players' performance is no longer overshadowed by the utter ineptitude of VDN.

tense2
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Well if we played to last years pace, I think we'd even be a much better over all rebounding team then last years.

CP3Heliflopter
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That Is due to pace though isn't it? Pretty sure our DRB% is lower and our league ranking is lower in that regard.

MunoValente
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I'll take a basically break even defense compared to last year for a few reasons. First we don't have Bledsoe and Odom who were our best defensive players last year, we've replaced them with clearly inferior defenders like Collison and Turkoglu and achieved a similar result. Second I think the shape of the defensive performance is important come playoff time. Last year's defense thrived on creating turnovers but struggled to defend threes, but I think once the playoffs come around teams become become less careless with the ball and use more and better shooters, so I think a team defense that focuses on forcing misses is more likely to hold up over the course of the playoffs.

cleepers
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OK, so are you saying we have a substantially worse team than last year? Because our record is very similar, despite ridding ourselves of a monumentally inept coach.

As of right now, we are last year's Denver... stellar at home, so-so on the road. Doc hasn't proven anything yet, but to be fair he won't get a chance to until the playoffs, so I'll wait and see.

CP3Heliflopter
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Our RS record is not noticeably better mainly because our starting SG has barely played, our players were getting used to a new system and coach, CP3 was out for so long and we had no capable backup bigs at the beginning of the season(this is on Doc tbh) but yea all that really matters is how far we get in the playoffs. Even winning the 1st round is not a guarantee every team in the playoffs is tough unless you play in the East.

MunoValente
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We've had a more injuries this year but despite that our point differential is better and there is a good chance we still finish with more wins. Obviously we're going to be measured mostly by post season success more than anything though and how we do there is yet to be seen.

I don't think coaches add too many regular season wins, even really good ones, especially if you have a guy that can manage the game from the floor like Paul, but sometimes adding a couple wins is the difference between being among the best of the best and merely very good.

tense2
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Top 10 Rebounding teams:

  1. Portland - Pace 13th

  2. GSW - Pace 5th

  3. Denver - Pace 3rd

  4. OKC - Pace 9th

  5. Pacers - Pace 19th

  6. Houston - Pace 7th

  7. Detroit - Pace 10th

  8. Minny - Pace 4th

  9. Bulls - Pace 29th

  10. Kings - Pace 14th

Maybe, maybe not.

cleepers
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I don't think the injury excuse really flies, partly because our record without CP3 is very similar to our overall record with him, and partly because we now have a supposedly elite coach and system - like the Spurs, who never seem to miss a beat when somebody goes down. And for the record, our starting SG played even less last year Yellow_Flash_Colorz_PDT_08

If Vinny was never allowed excuses by some people here, the $7,000,000 man certainly shouldn't be allowed them.

All will be revealed in the playoffs.

fullcourt
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It doesn't matter

Different team

Different expectations

Different circumstances

jarca
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Count it again.

1st year- Roy

2ns year- 2nd round exit

3rd year -1st round exit

4th- docs year!

JQuick32
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Vinnyball works in the regular season against all but the best opponents, and we had talent, which are the sole reasons why VDN was able to put up a comparable record. Honestly, the West was also slightly worse last year than it is this year. And his record was further inflated by a rare undefeated month against an extremely weak stretch of the schedule.

This year, there's not a huge difference in the record, but system-wise and execution-wise, there's a HUGE difference. We're no longer outcoached before the ball is even tipped. And unlike Vinny, Doc knows how to win in the playoffs and has the ring to prove it.

cleepers
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But only just. Vinny's pretty-much "all-rookie" team took Doc's pretty-much "all-star" team to 7 games with 7 overtimes the year Doc (with Thibs) got his ring.

I'm not even trying to say that Vinny is better... I'm glad we have Doc. But the gulf in ability is not nearly as vast as Vinny-haters make it out to be.

cleepers
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Judging by our record against Miami and Indiana, it actually appears to work better than Docball.

namzug
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Well if you are being judged based on your total grade point average then why isn't that considered development. DJ is a better player this year then last. Let's not worry about your C classes, let's get A's where we can to raise your average. Now he has a 3.5 compared to a 2.0. How does that not constitute as helping his development? I don't think DJ heard the grinding and all he knew is Vinny kept reaching over and cover up the Service light.

As far as Blake goes I think he's a once in a decade type player. I think he would improve one way or another, but to give him some direction like telling him I want you to face up more or that he will be used at the elbow can definitely help. After that Blake can go work on those things that will help him from there the most. He also can get advice and feedback on what can help him there.

I'm not talking development strictly from a skill set perspective, but as a total package.

ClipperPostman
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VDN was a terrible Coach IMO. Doc is a Great Coach. Really can't compare the Two.

  1. Lets talk injuries. This team has been injury riddled this season. Someone can always

say "That's just an excuse", well it's a good one. At one point Willie Green had to run PG. Enough said...

In spite of all these injuries we are still fighting for the number 2 spot in the west. That's

great coaching.

  1. VDN never got the players to buy in... Cp3 wanted him fired, DJ didn't do anything but pout

in the playoffs, Crawford mentally shut down. By the end of the season you could tell

by the teams energy they were tired of VDN. They never respected him.

Part of being a coach is having your players buy in. If you can't do that then you aren't being

effective.

  1. Doc brung in the right people. The coaches job is to make sure the team has

the defensive and offensive schemes to win a championship. People are saying

"Well it's alvin Gentry running the offense". Yea but who hired him. Doc is the head coach

he has to put the right people in place to be successful.

Hiring Alvin Gentry was a genius move. Our offense is 10 times better than the

"Run and Gun" offense we had under VDN. That's why no one picked the

clippers to win in the PO because historically run and gun teams who don't

have a half court offense get shut down in the PO when the game slows down.

  1. Developing Players. Although Clipper Joe somehow thinks DJ and Blakes "Work ethic"

got them better (which is true) but I'm sure a coach who has been playing or coaching

in the NBA for over 25 years (As long as DJ has been alive) probably has more than

a "Few" techniques and things to teach blake and DJ.

To assume Doc's 25 years of NBA experience (13 seasons as a player) doesn't translate

into teaching Blake and DJ new ways to get better is RIDICULOUS. Just working on your

"Jump shot" doesn't make you better. Understanding Sets, Positioning, Play recognition,

etc... plays a big part. Basketball isn't just a "Physical" game. It's a game of strategy.

  1. I could go on and on, but there is no point. VDN sucks as a HC and is out

the league for a reason.

cleepers
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Repped High Quality Post

^ Haha! Willie started at SG most of the last 2 years!

CP3 wanted Vinny fired? Did he tell you that?

And how were we more "run & gun" under Vinny when we were 19th in pace last year and 8th this year?

Seems to me that "IMO" is the only relevant part of your post, because actual facts are nowhere to be found.

Once again... until Doc takes this team to the WCF (the very thing that Vinny was derided for not being able to do), he has proven nothing. He's being paid five times what Vinny was making, he should be held to AT LEAST the same standard.

ClippersDA
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Wow vinny still has fans?? That is surprising. He would be excellent front office person but he doesn't seem to have the "it"

Factor for coaching

Agent0
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To add to this, last off-season was the first off-season since Blake has been in the league that he wasn't rehabbing or their wasn't a lockout. So you're actually very correct, but Blake actually never had time to work in the off-season all the previous years. I mentioned this many times, but people kind of ignored it, but you can't actually improve your shot if you don't have he time to work on it. He finally got the time and he's as hard working as they come.

Blake's problem his first few seasons in terms of improving as much as we'd hoped was not related to Vinny, it was related to injuries. Vinny helped set up the whole Bob Thate situation and wanted Blake to improve his shot, but remember Blake started working out late with Thate because of injury and one of the hardest things to do is change your shot while playing games. We talked about this at length last season as to why he was so inconsistent. If you've ever worked on your shot, when changing form, you get worse before you get better and you are best not playing competitive games because your goal isn't form but making shots and your body tries to revert back to what is the status quo and it builds inconsistency in your shot.

Vinny to me wasn't as terrible a coach as people said, he also had more roster issues than Doc has in terms of balance. What he did lack were the out of timeout skills, the versatility in the offense to keep it moving, a consistent defensive system, and he might have been more partial to veterans than he should have been.

...but what is also true is that Doc is more clear about the expectations of players. They said "Blake, this is how we want to use you, so this is what you need to work on". DJ, this is how we want to use you, etc, etc. Vinny seemed more lax in directing player improvement / expectations and letting them do their thing. So you had DJ coming in and wanting to be an offensive player for example.

Where I would disagree is that Doc isn't about developing players as both his Orlando and Boston jobs, when he got them didn't really say that. The whole Avery Bradley over Ray Allen, keeping Rondo instead of getting a veteran PG, doesn't seem like he has any issues with developing players. I think anyone coming into this saw that there was development still needed with guys like Blake and DJ. So I wouldn't say he has no interest in that, but sure he isn't about developing a whole team at this stage in his career in comparison to earlier.

CapsNClips
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People who say Vinny is a bad coach are just being ignorant. Of course he's not as good as Doc and wasn't the right coach for our team going forward, but he's a good coach who can make 80% of current NBA teams better.

Vinny was the right choice when we signed him. Stop comparing him to Doc.

Agent0
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3. Doc brung in the right people. The coaches job is to make sure the team has the defensive and offensive schemes to win a championship. People are saying "Well it's alvin Gentry running the offense". Yea but who hired him. Doc is the head coach he has to put the right people in place to be successful. Hiring Alvin Gentry was a genius move. Our offense is 10 times better than the "Run and Gun" offense we had under VDN. That's why no one picked the clippers to win in the PO because historically run and gun teams....

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Agent0
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I wouldn't say better. I think he's an average coach, so he can maintain the status quo on most teams who are just playing to their capability, but he won't elevate a team beyond that. That's what his problem was, he can't make a team overachieve and he's generally not going to win a series that becomes about the battle of coaching and adjustments because the talent is pretty even.

JahvonTheClip
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Vinny wasn't a good coach and he wasn't a bad one. If you want to win a championship, you ain't gonna get it with Vinny. If you want to make the playoffs and that is it then keep him. Obviously you see where the clippers were and where they wanted to go.

clipper*joe
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It's not about Vinny still having some fans. It's about the people who didn't like VDN and thought he was the problem. Cleepers and myself tried explaining that since the beginning. I'm indifferent towards VDN but I never thought he was the problem you guys were making him out to be. All indicators prove that Doc is just marginally better than VDN was at this point in the season.

namzug
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That's where we disagree. Doc is light years ahead of Vinny in my opinion. I don't think it's close. I also don't think it's that hard to see. I think there is much more consistency too.

Vinny's team had a decent defensive rating that was predicated on some defensive juggernauts on the bench taking advantage of playing against opponents bench players.

Vinny's team had no defensive scheme to fall back to.

Vinny's team had a 17 game win streak in November that cushioned the fall after the All-star break.

From Kmart to Blake their never seemed to be good sense of confidence in Vinny and the system or lack thereof.

Limiting minutes of players that have proven a year later to be worthy of more minutes is not a good sign.

Vinny's offense was very predictable which came to be an issue during the playoffs.

Vinny relied too much on veteran players rather then a system or motion offense to be able to help off nights.

In all honesty I think last years team reached it's heights in spite of Vinny. I think if we had a coach like Doc all last year we would have made the Western Conference Finals at a minimum.

david
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Added a poll- do you guys think Doc Rivers is a better coach than Vinny Del Negro? If so, is he much better or just a slight upgrade, or do you think it remains to be seen?

cleepers
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I think if we had Vinny this year, we'd be a lock for a championship.

Not really true... but do you see where I'm going? Vinny got absolutely no credit from most posters here for our best-ever winning %, sweeping the despised lakers "superteam", winning our first ever game-7 on the road, etc, etc, etc.

People are quick to cite injuries and roster-balance issues in defense of Doc, but Vinny was afforded no such courtesy.

Again, I'm happy we have Doc and I think he's a very good coach, but that doesn't mean that Vinny was the reason we didn't go further in the postseason than we did the last 2 years.

I'm also happy with my wife, but that doesn't mean I have to badmouth every girl I ever dated. I'm in the "thanks for the memories" camp.

itsLuigi
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this pretty much sums it all up.

itsLuigi
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he was a good coach but you can't tell me he wasn't out coached by Lionel Hollins last year. he adjusted after the first two games and the rest is history

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