With Doc Rivers emerging as a candidate in the Houston Rockets’ coaching search, should the Rockets want Rivers to be the successor for the team?
With the Houston Rockets‘ coaching search underway, Rockets GM Daryl Morey reportedly has interest in Kenny Atkinson, Tyronn Lue, Jeff Van Gundy, Sam Cassell, and now Doc Rivers. Rivers was just recently outed by the Denver Nuggets in a 3-1 comeback, which was the third time that has happened to him. However, if Morey decides to bring in Rivers, would this Rockets franchise be settling again?
Honestly, Rivers isn’t a bad head coach, based on his resume in the NBA, which includes a 943-681 record, which is good for a .722 winning percentage. Doc won an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, who took down Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, and returned to the Finals in 2010, although they lost to Kobe’s Lakers within seven games during that Finals run.
Doc was traded to the Clippers in 2011, where he guided them to relevancy, as he went 356-208 with the Clippers, which was good for 63.1 percent. The Clippers and Doc decided to part ways because of the his multiple shortcomings in the Western Conference Semifinals, which was heart-breaking for Clippers fans.
Morey sees interest in Doc because of the idea of small ball, as Doc consistently used a small ball unit to close out games in the fourth quarter during his 2019-20 stint with the Clippers. His unit would consist of Lou Williams, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Marcus Morris, and Rivers also included Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell as well.
Should the Houston Rockets want Doc Rivers?
Morey’s focus is around the efforts of perfecting the small ball equation with the Rockets, so it maximizes the offensive efforts of James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The Clippers’ small ball unit was very effective, as they finished fourth on both offense and defense, thanks to Rivers’ coaching ability. But because of Doc’s stellar coaching ability, it’s still hard to come to grips with the fact that the Clippers, who held the second-seed in the Western Conference, blew a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets.
In my opinion, Cassell should be the frontrunner for the Rockets’ head coaching job, followed by Lue. Lue won an NBA Championship in 2016 with Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love, and the manner in which they won was impressive.
The Cleveland Cavaliers took down a 73-9 Warriors team that had the best record in NBA history, and came back from a 3-1 deficit. Cassell is a great choice because of the relationships he builds with players, plus he’s paid his dues after having been an assistant coach for over a decade in the NBA.
Cassell’s former Rockets teammates of the “Clutch City” title teams are already rooting for him to get the head coaching job for the Rockets.
I played with him early in his career and even then he was a very cerebral player. I don’t have to remind you how instrumental he was in both the championship runs and he has always wanted to come back to Clutch City. Let’s bring our boy home! pic.twitter.com/xHT9eYYjnz
— Vernon Maxwell (@VernonMaxwell11) September 24, 2020
Earlier on Wednesday, Rivers interviewed for the Philadelphia 76ers, who also interviewed Lue a day before, which is interesting because he was recently on Rivers’ staff with the Clippers. Another interesting situation has occurred in the Rockets’ search, as the Rockets requested permission to interview Denver Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. and Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas.
As Rockets’ fans patiently wait for the decision on the Rockets’ next coach, hopefully the right decision is made, so the team can move forward and capitalize on Harden and Westbrook’s remaining peak seasons.