Doc Rivers may be one of the best NBA coaches of all time, but Game 7s just aren't his jam.
After Doc's latest NBA playoff series collapse as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, Rivers is on the coaching hot seat. Will he be back in Philly next year? If not, where will Doc go next?
Why Is Rivers On The Hot Seat?
Doc has coached four NBA teams across 24 years as an NBA head coach. He's won an NBA title, won Coach of the Year, and was named one of the top 15 NBA coaches of all time.
But all that has been overshadowed in recent seasons by some pretty egregious chokes. After Sunday's Game 7 loss to the Celtics, Doc Rivers' teams have now lost five straight Game 7s. The contests haven't really been close, either, with Rivers' teams losing by an average margin of 14.4 points in those clinching games:
|Year||Doc's Team||Winning Team||Score|
The 76ers are a team looking to take the next jump. With Joel Embiid playing at an NBA MVP level and James Harden not getting any younger, the Sixers need a coach who can win big games. These three stats seem to indicate Rivers just might not be that guy:
Doc Rivers has now blown 7 playoff series with a 3-1 or 3-2 lead. pic.twitter.com/F6drtQco0V— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 14, 2023
Where Will Rivers Coach Next?
Despite all the Game 7 struggles and the latest series choke, the odds still think Rivers will be back with the 76ers next year. The -215 odds for Rivers to open as head coach in Philly next year indicate a 68.25% chance he'll be the 76ers' leader in 2023/24.
The next best option is Detroit, where long-time coach Dwayne Casey just moved into an upper management role. The Pistons would be a new challenge for Rivers, as he took over Celtics and 76ers teams already primed for deep playoff runs during his last two coaching stints. The Pistons, on the other hand, are just now coming out of a rebuild, rattling off four seasons in a row with 25 or fewer wins.
Maybe it's a good fit for Rivers because I'm sure Pistons fans would be thrilled if the team made it to a playoff Game 7 next year, win or lose!
Who Will Coach The 76ers Next Year?
Rivers is still favored to lead the 76ers next season, but there are some other big names on the coaching market.
76ers assistant Sam Cassell is the favorite to replace Rivers if he's not back in Philly next season. Long-time Raptors coach Nick Nurse is another name on the market. Things blew up for Nurse in Toronto by the end there, but he's certainly a coach who has proven he can take a championship-caliber team to the next level. In fact, Nurse's Raptors defeated the 76ers in a Game 7 a few years ago, with some help from an iconic Kawhi Leonard shot.