Doc Rivers’ halftime message to Clippers: ‘Stop f—ing flopping’

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In their Game 7 loss to the Rockets, the Clippers fell behind by 15 in the second quarter and trailed by 10 at halftime.

Arash Markazi of ESPN:

Rivers is correct: The Clippers flop too much, and it hurts them on the court. That was hardly their biggest issue yesterday, though it’s still a problem – and a correctable one at that.

But halftime of Game 7 seems like a strange time for Rivers to get righteous about it.

Rivers has explicitly and implicitly approved of his players flopping. When Klay Thompson called out Blake Griffin for flopping last season, Rivers said:

“That’s Klay’s opinion; I don’t really care,” Rivers said Friday. “I just keep looking at what Blake’s done. If he’s flopping, then keep doing it because those numbers look awful good to me. So flop on. That’s the way I look at it. Whatever he’s done this year, I want him to keep doing exactly that. When the votes come for MVP, he’ll be in the top three.

Rivers also spends considerable time lobbying referees for calls, which makes it hard for him to get his players to just play through perceived bad calls.

The Clippers – with Rivers, Griffin and Chris Paul – will probably return the same core next season (give or take DeAndre Jordan). The Rivers/Griffin/Paul trio will set the team’s tone. Hopefully, it involves less flopping and whining to the refs.

For now, though, attention on the Clippers’ flopping is probably good for Rivers. It distracts from the far bigger reason they lost this series – a lack of energy as it closed due to Rivers’ failure to build an adequate bench.