Clippers HC Doc Rivers Says Mavericks 'Playing Better Than Us Right Now'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers (left) talks with guard Reggie Jackson (1) during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers in convincing fashion Wednesday night 127-114, and after the game, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was blunt about his team's performance.

"They're playing better than us right now," he said, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

Rivers specifically took aim at both the "individual" and pick-and-roll defense Wednesday night.

"I just thought they got matchups, and by the end of the game everybody was a matchup," he told reporters. "They were just looking us in the eye, taking us off the dribble, playing draw-and-kick basketball. And they played together, they moved the ball. I thought that stood out."

FOX Sports West @FoxSportsWest

"If we play like that... We can't win." Doc Rivers reflects on tonight's defeat. #ClipperNation | @LAClippers https://t.co/CBHQwmKURm

Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard also called out the team's defense:

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha

He also mentioned that the Clippers’ help defense lacked discipline and wasn’t always there on time.

Andrew Greif @AndrewGreif

Kawhi Leonard felt Clippers were undisciplined in fouling jump shooters, allowing easy drives, and inconsistent weakside help.

The Clippers won the first game of the series 118-110, but that result was marred somewhat by the controversial ejection of Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis. It's fair to question if the Mavericks would be up 2-0 in the series without that ejection.

Regardless, the Clippers have been tested by the Mavericks thus far. Luka Doncic hasn't made life easy for them, going off for 42 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in Game 1 and 28 points, eight boards and seven assists in Game 2.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Luka dropped 70 points in his first two career playoff games 💪 That’s the most points any NBA player has put up in his first two playoff games since 1949. (via Elias Sports) https://t.co/P4poIZ4zmW

"It was great," Doncic told reporters after the win. "I'm in a way better mood today. We've just got three left. For sure [we can win the series]. If you don't believe it, you're not supposed to be here."

If the Clippers don't pick up their play, Doncic might just be right.