Warriors Star Agrees With JJ Redick on Doc Rivers Making ‘Excuses’

Bucks coach Doc Rivers

Getty Bucks coach Doc Rivers looks on from the sidelines during a game on February 3, 2024.

Bucks coach Doc Rivers caught some flak from JJ Redick for his comments following Milwaukee’s loss to Memphis when he said some players on his team “were in Cabo” instead of focusing on a game. On the February 20 edition ESPN’s “First Take,” Redick went scorched earth on his former coach, suggesting that Rivers needed to stop making excuses for his team’s shortcomings.

A day later, on his podcast, Redick – who played four seasons under Rivers as a member of the Clippers – apologized for the tone of his outburst but did not retract from his views on Rivers. If anything, he doubled down on his earlier comments.

Draymond Green: ‘You Can’t Make Excuses Now’

Warriors star Draymond Green, who’s been in many playoff battles with Rivers, chimed-in on the hot-button issue via “The Draymond Green Show” on February 23.

“I agree with JJ,” Green said. “When I’ve been watching these Doc interviews… ‘These guys are in Cabo,’ ‘That guy was here,’ ‘Something didn’t go right.’ Every interview is another excuse. And that just can’t work. You knew what you were signing up for, Doc. You took over a team through the halfway mark of the season – 3 and 7 in the last 10 [pre-All Star break]. You knew what you were getting yourself into.”

“You can’t go make excuses now,” Green added.

Green then addressed Patrick Beverly, Austin Rivers, Lou Williams and others coming to their former coach’s defense.

“I understand where JJ was coming from,” Green continued. “Pat Bev and Austin Rivers understood where JJ was coming from. And the reason you know is because they never said one thing about what JJ said. What they did was attack JJ’s playing career.”

Is Doc Rivers About to Prove Everyone Wrong?

As mentioned by Green, the Bucks went 3-7 in their final ten games before the All-Star break, with Rivers getting off to a subpar start after taking over from Adrian Griffin. In Rivers’ defense, the Bucks have won back-to-back games since the season resumed, the first of which was an impressive victory over the top seed in the Western Conference — the Timberwolves — on February 23.

Are the Bucks about to turn a corner under Rivers? While the overall results (5-7) would suggest otherwise, several advanced stats hint at Giannis Antetokounmpo & Co. trending in the right direction. For starters, the Bucks’ Defensive Rating has improved to a top-tier 112.2 since Rivers took over after it languished at 116.3 under the previous coaching staff. While the Offensive Rating has dipped considerably (from 120.4 to 113.2), it is a strategic move to reduce the PACE (102.60 to 98.96) which has helped the Bucks improve their rebounding percentage significantly.

Rivers has sacrificed offense for defense, which isn’t necessarily a terrible ploy when you have gifted scorers such as Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard at your disposal.

In an interview with ESPN’s Jamal Collier, Rivers was asked about his Bucks ranking 24th in offense since he took over after it remained in the top 3 previously.

“I’m not concerned, I will say that,” Rivers said on February 25. “I just want [Dame] and Giannis to connect faster, so we may do some artificial connecting on the floor. Just so they can see it and get it, because once they get it, it’s over.”

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