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Doc Rivers is one of the most successful NBA coaches of the last 20 years. He’s led his teams to winning records in 20 of his 24 seasons as a head coach, and he’s one of just 13 head coaches this century to have a championship on his resume.

But that doesn’t tell the full story of Rivers’ career.

Rivers has lost 32 close-out playoff games in his career, which is the highest mark in NBA history for a head coach. He also folds under the pressure of Game 7 more often than not, as he’s compiled a 6-9 record in winner-take-all games in the postseason.

If you’re a Philadelphia 76ers fan, you can’t be feeling too confident about Sunday’s Game 7 against the Boston Celtics.

Doc Rivers has lost 9 of his 15 Game 7s, including 4 straight

Doc Rivers reacts during a game.
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers reacts during a game against the Dallas Mavericks | Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Despite all of his success as a head coach in the NBA, it’s impossible to trust Doc Rivers in the playoffs. The veteran coach is 17-32 in his career in close-out games, and his nine losses in Game 7s are the most in NBA history.

In 15 career Game 7s, Rivers is 6-9. He’s 0-4 on the road, and he’s lost four straight dating back to 2015. Doesn’t paint a positive picture of the Sixers’ chances against the Celtics on Sunday, does it?

Here’s how Rivers has fared in Game 7s over the years, per StatMuse:

2003Orlando MagicDetroit PistonsL 93-108
2005Boston CelticsIndiana PacersL 70-97
2008Boston CelticsAtlanta HawksW 99-65
2008Boston CelticsCleveland CavaliersW 97-92
2009Boston CelticsChicago BullsW 109-99
2009Boston CelticsOrlando MagicL 82-101
2010Boston CelticsLos Angeles LakersL 79-83
2012Boston CelticsPhiladelphia 76ersW 85-75
2012Boston CelticsMiami HeatL 88-101
2014Los Angeles ClippersGolden State WarriorsW 126-121
2015Los Angeles ClippersSan Antonio SpursW 111-109
2015Los Angeles ClippersHouston RocketsL 100-113
2017Los Angeles ClippersUtah JazzL 91-104
2020Los Angeles ClippersDenver NuggetsL 89-104
2021Philadelphia 76ersAtlanta HawksL 96-103

Sixers fans can’t be feeling confident about Game 7 against the Celtics

There’s a thick cloud of pessimism looming over the city of Philadelphia today.

The 76ers had a golden opportunity to close out the Celtics and exorcise their playoff demons in Game 6 at home, but they melted down in the final minutes to set up a momentous Game 7. Philly fans haven’t seen their team make it past the second round of the playoffs since the 2001 NBA Finals run, so you can’t blame them for doubting this group.

Add in the fact that the Sixers are coached by a man with the most close-out losses and the most Game 7 losses in NBA history, and the odds are clearly stacked against them.


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