Doc Rivers Says Clippers Are a '6 or 7' on Scale of Playoff Readiness

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 7, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' head Coach Doc Rivers directs his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns' Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers have gone 2-2 during the NBA's restart, winning a pair of blowouts and losing two games that went down to the final possession.

They have four games left before the playoffs, and head coach Doc Rivers provided an assessment on how playoff-ready his team is at the moment, per Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks.

Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks

“On a scale of 1 to 10 - 10 being ‘playoff ready’ where are the Clippers?” https://t.co/zJ6RxDruWg

"That's a good question," Rivers said.

"I don't know, six or seven. Still have [Montrezl Harrell] out. We still have several guys that have minute restrictions that put a major problem on us tonight, especially with guards. We still have Pat [Beverley] out."

The "six or seven" grade might be a conservative judgment, especially with Rivers making the comments after the Clippers outclassed the Dallas Mavericks 126-111 on Thursday.

The Clips did that without Harrell (left team temporarily after grandmother died) and Beverley (left calf strain), two key members of the team's rotation.

The team has also seen players come and go since going to Florida for practices to ramp up for the seeding games in early July, as ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk noted.

"Rivers' team has been short-handed since the beginning of the NBA restart. Ivica Zubac and Landry Shamet said they both tested positive for the coronavirus and were not able to get to Orlando until the last week of July. Marcus Morris and JaMychal Green also had delayed arrivals to Orlando. And then Harrell, Beverley and Lou Williams all departed the NBA bubble to tend to excused family emergencies during the span of a week in mid-July."

Los Angeles' restart losses were to the Western Conference's No. 1 seed in the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns, who are 4-0 since the restart and beat two other playoff-bound teams in the Mavericks and Indiana Pacers.

L.A. crushed the New Orleans Pelicans 126-103 and outscored the Mavs 35-24 in the fourth quarter to cruise to victory Thursday.

The good news for Rivers and the Clips is that the team will have at least 10 full days to achieve a perfect "10" in playoff readiness, as the playoffs don't start until Aug. 17.

They'll almost certainly face the Mavericks in the first round with how the standings have shaken out, per Basketball-Reference's Playoff Probabilities report, and the Clips may welcome that matchup having gone 3-0 against Dallas this season.

L.A. holds the Western Conference's No. 2 seed, sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Denver Nuggets. Its next game is against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.