Even though he's been criticized for his inability to hold big advantages in playoff series', Doc Rivers is still considered a solid coach by many people around the league. The current Philadelphia 76ers head coach is trying to take his team to the top of the league, but things didn't go well for him in the first season.
He could never lead the Los Angeles Clippers to the longed-for Western Conference finals and now is trying to make the Sixers a competitive team in the East. During his time with the Clippers, Rivers left plenty of memories, including two embarrassing collapses after leading a series 3-1.
JJ Redick, who played under Rivers from 2014 through 2017, recalls how the veteran head coach used an interesting strategy to beat the Utah Jazz after sharpshooter Joe Ingles shut him down on the defensive end.
Talking on a recent edition of his 'The Old Man and the Three' podcast, Redick revealed what Rivers told him at the time, trying to make every game a 4-on-4 duel due to Ingles' suffocating defense.
"I don't wanna overlook the fact that you brought up the Clippers series, and I don't want any listener to think I'm shying away from giving Joe Ingles credit. I would say this about that series, I had been top locked before in the playoffs and the regular season. I had never been top locked to that degree and thanks to that performance by you, that just became the norm in the playoffs from that point forward, every series and every possession. Doc after Game 1 to our team said to me, 'JJ, this is not going to be your series. Your job this series is to just stand in the corner and we'll play 4-on-4."
The No. 5 seed Utah Jazz would defeat the No. 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers in seven games, ruining Redick's hopes to show his offensive prowess in the following series. Ingles did a terrific job containing the sharpshooter, which led Rivers to make such a drastic decision to ignore Redick in set plays.
After that series, the Jazz would face the unbeatable Golden State Warriors, who swept them on their way to the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, Redick ended his tenure with the Clippers, going to the Philadelphia 76ers following that disappointing series.
Four years later, they met to discuss that series and JJ gave credit to Ingles. He's known for being a shooter, but the guard can do a lot on the court. He's a journeyman, which often gets overlooked by fans and colleagues. But, now you see how impactful he can be on both ends of the ball.