Let’s clarify something first and foremost, being an overrated coach doesn’t necessarily mean that coach is bad. I personally still think Doc Rivers is a good coach, but shouldn’t be as highly lauded as people make him out to be.
Not too long ago, Rivers was being mentioned in the same breath as Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson when it came to the NBA’s top coaches. Popovich was able to win five titles through both Tim Duncan and David Robinson’s prime and tail-end of their respective careers. Jackson amassed 11 championships from 1991-2010, and though he had the likes of Jordan, Shaq and Kobe throughout each era, he was able to win multiple titles nonetheless.
As for Rivers’ resume? He won the 2000 Coach of the Year with the Magic, made the NBA Playoffs once during the Celtics’ pre ”Big Three” era, and as for the “Big Three” era itself ― he only raised one championship banner during a four-year stretch. Then, Rivers goes California-dreaming with hopes of winning another championship with a core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Yet, since his tenure in Los Angeles, he hasn’t been able to lead the team past the conference semifinals. Oddly enough, Rivers has found as much playoff success as his predecessor, Vinny Del Negro, and Del Negro isn’t even respected enough to be hired to an NBA staff since his firing from the Clippers.
Some may say that this isn’t particularly Rivers’ fault. They may claim that the playmaking abilities of Paul, athleticism of Griffin and defensive presence in Jordan that was central to the Clippers’ regular season success falling off tremendously in the postseason is to blame. Though not quite wrong, it further shows that even the supposed talent of Doc Rivers couldn’t fully bring out the potential of such a talented squad in the postseason. Point is, with the amount of talent, Rivers has been fortunate enough to coach, he has widely underachieved. That being said, I am not making the claim that he’s bad at his job, Rivers is simply perceived as better than he actually is.