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?
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:
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:
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.
With the Spurs up 3-1 hoping to finish the job unlike last year and the Heat just hoping to survive to play another game, a Game 5 screenshot recap is a must.
This girl’s name is Colbie Caillat apparently. She delivers the best national anthem rendition of the series so far.
This lad just outplayed the best player in the world twice on his own home floor. Will he continue his incredible post-Game 2 play?
Mario Chalmers has disappeared.
The Heat’s starting point guard is averaging 3.5 points and 27.8% shooting through the first four games of the NBA Finals. He has more fouls (12) than points (10) and nearly as many turnovers (8) as assists (9). He has been thoroughly outplayed by not just Tony Parker, but Patty Mills too. His slump pre-dates the Finals; he has not scored double figures in 13 games.
Prior to this season Chalmers had developed a well-earned reputation for being a gamer, someone who could be relied upon in the postseason. He had become that valuable asset on any winning team: the role player unafraid of the big moment, the unsung fourth wheel who picks up the slack when called upon.
He was the Heat’s second-leading scorer in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, dropped 25 points in Game 4 of the 2012 Finals (the “Mario mother*cking Chalmers!” game) and at Kansas hit the biggest shot of the 2008 NCAA national title game.
Game 2 of the 2014 Finals was another in a long line of statement games for LeBron James. Coming off Crampgate and a Game 1 loss, a response of sorts was required. It was delivered.
Setting up shop around the rim and not shooting his first jumpshot until three minutes into the third quarter, James played an almost exaggerated version of what I consider to be his ideal game as a scorer. Time and again in the first half he attacked the basket off the dribble or allowed others to initiative the offense whilst he bullied Spurs defenders into the low post, refusing to budge until the possession was over.
He was relentlessly aggressive, putting an immense amount of pressure on a defense which prefers not to double team. It is this kind of rough-and-tumble on-ball and off-ball physical contact he has at times shied away from him during his career, so it was rewarding to see him embrace it to such an extent in such a big game, from the very first possession:
The Finals are here and it’s the Heat/Spurs rematch we anticipated all year long. A Game 1 screenshot diary is a must.
Remember when the NBA used to get adults to sing the national anthem?
Duncan and Sean Marks stroke hands, and we’re ready to go. Little known fact: six of Marks’ 11 starts as an NBA player came with the Heat.
Gregg Popovich surprised everyone by starting Matt Bonner in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals last night, but it was back-up Boris Diaw whose fingerprints were all over the Spurs’ 117-89 victory. Let us appreciate his role-playing brilliance.
Diaw put up 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes but as is usually the case with the Frenchman, the stats do not fully reflect his impact on the game. San Antonio outscored the Thunder by 19 with him on the court. He was in constant motion, spreading the floor, attacking off the dribble and putting his teammates in positions to succeed.
He was masterful in the second quarter when the Spurs broke the game open.
The starters for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game were announced last week. As usual, the fans got it wrong: Kobe Bryant (6 games, 13.8 PPG) and Kyrie Irving (42.8% shooting, 16-29 record in the putrid Eastern Conference) have no business being in the starting lineups.
Tonight, the reserves will be announced. Who should be selected?
Let us ignore the East – with all due respect to the likes of Paul Millsap, Arron Afflalo and Kyle Lowry – and skip straight to the ultra-loaded and more meaningful West, where there are far more deserving candidates than there are available All-Star roster spots.
After much deliberation, here are the seven players – three frontcourt, two backcourt and two wild cards – who should join Kobe, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin on the squad: