Doc Rivers on the edge: 30 of the best sweaty and stressed Doc faces

Doc Rivers

Since taking the Los Angeles Clippers head coaching job, Doc Rivers has appeared to be constantly on edge.

There are few more common League Pass sights than that of Doc’s shiny, angry, stressed-out face as he screams at officials or barks out instructions to a team that has disappointed in clutch moments more often than not. Indeed, he may well be the sweatiest, angriest head coach in the league.

He is TV gold, a bundle of mostly negative emotion that the cameras cut to at every opportunity – always ripe for a screenshot. At times it looks as if his eyes are ready to pop out of his head. At others he merely looks ready to break down and cry. I worry for his mental state.

“I don’t complain much,” Doc noted after the Clips lost Game 5 of their first round series with San Antonio on Tuesday – apparently with no hint of sarcasm.

Of course, he is in fact one of the biggest serial complainers in the league. It is the team-wide culture of whining and ref-baiting that makes the Clippers the technical foul league-leaders and one of the most detestable squads in the league for many neutrals.

With his team on the brink of elimination tonight in San Antonio, what better time than now to enjoy 30 of the best sweaty-and-stressed Doc screenshots?

Continue reading

Takeaways from the first three nights of the NBA season

It’s the opening week of the new NBA season, which means the League Pass fest is in full effect.

Here are my screenshot-backed observations from the first three nights.

This Spurs employee needs a manicure:

Spurs ring

It is not clear who is holding the ring here, but to whoever it is: Come on, dude. You’re on national TV. Don’t look like a tramp.

The Lakers’ season is already over:

Julius Randle

Just when you thought the Lakers could not get any more depressing, Julius Randle breaks his leg. A devastating blow for the lad, and a clear cue for the Lakers to embrace being as bad as possible and maintaining their top-five protected draft pick. With Jeremy Lin running the point like this, it seems inevitable.

Continue reading

Chris Paul and the stats/résumé disconnect: How great is CP3 really?

The statistics place Chris Paul among the absolute greats to ever play his position, but he is yet to experience their level of playoff success. How does he stack up against them given the gap between his stats and his résumé?

Chris Paul

Paul is a four-time All-NBA first teamer and the best pure point guard in the league whose skills are well known to anyone reading this blog. He is a true floor general and orchestrator of his team’s offense. He is a maestro with the ball, one of the best distributors in recent league history and a multi-faceted scorer. He is also a relatively good defender – though not quite fully deserving of his six All-Defense nominations, as I recently laid out here.

617 games into his career, Paul is putting up averages of 18.6 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals on 47.2% shooting. A true stat sheet filler, he already has 297 double-doubles to his name.

Historically, he is amongst elite statistical company. He is one of just five players to amass 11,000 points and 6,000 assists over his first nine seasons, and he currently ranks first all-time in PER among all guards – not a tell-all stat by any means but one that demonstrates his all-round statistical brilliance. Moreover, only five players have ever averaged 21 points and 11 assists on at least 48% shooting for a season. Only two have ever done it more than once: Paul and Magic Johnson.

Continue reading

CP3’s D: How good is Chris Paul defensively?

Paul defense

Chris Paul, the greatest floor general in the league on offense, has been named to the All-Defensive first or second team six of the last seven years. Is he that good on that end of the ball?

As the years have gone on I have learned to take All-Defense votes with a considerable pinch of salt. The average media member with a vote is simply not informed enough to make a judgement, and players tend to get in based on reputations – some well-earned, some completely undeserved.

In Paul’s case, it is somewhat deserved.

His relative lack of height and explosive athletic ability limit his effectiveness, but for his size he is a generally good, feisty one-on-one defender when focused. Doc Rivers is able to trust to him in guarding opposing point guards one-on-one and even shift him on to shooting guards when the Clippers go small. He is an intelligent player with great anticipation and a generally clear awareness of his own positioning on the floor, making him an excellent off-ball defender.

Continue reading

How good was Chauncey Billups? Was he really Mr. Big Shot?

Chauncey Billups this week retired from the NBA after 17 seasons. How good was he? How deserving was he of his “Mr. Big Shot” moniker?

nba-chauncey

Chauncey was a competitor and a winner. With career averages of 15 points and 5 assists, he was both solid and great – perhaps the greatest distinctly solid player of all time. A 5-time All-Star but never a superstar, after joining the Pistons he became the quarterback and leading personality on a perennial contender. An expert pull-up shooter and one of the better perimeter defenders in the league during his prime, he was also a rare legitimate two-way player at the point guard spot.

From ‘02/03 to ‘09/10 he put up 17.4 points and 6.3 assists and averaged 77 games per season. His best season came in ‘05/06, when he put up career-best averages of 18.5 points, 8.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 43.3% shooting from downtown. He was named to the All-NBA second team. He was, for one season, the second best point guard in the league behind Steve Nash.

Continue reading