Why Milwaukee Bucks fans are overreacting to Doc Rivers' playoff history

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
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Bucks fans are overreacting to Doc Rivers' playoff record: 2005

The fact that the graphic circulating on Twitter/X, Facebook and anywhere else includes the 2004-05 season, Doc Rivers' first season with the Boston Celtics, who held a 1-0 over the Indiana Pacers, is just ridiculous. A 1-0 lead in a seven game series is nothing, but it fits the narrative, so Rivers detractors included it.

This series was ultimately somewhat similar to the previously mentioned Magic versus Pistons series. In this Celtics versus Pacers series, Doc Rivers had the best player on the court, Paul Pierce, but the Indiana Pacers were a much better constructed roster, featuring players like a young Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal, and an older but still sharpshooting Reggie Miller.

The Boston Celtics were the three seed in the Eastern Conference in 2004-05, and the Pacers were the sixth seed, and while not common, six seeds do beat three seeds in playoffs occasionally. This series went seven games, and the fact that the Celtics won Game 1 on their home court, which they're supposed to do, hardly registers as a choke, even as the higher seeded team.

Bucks fans are overreacting to Doc Rivers' playoff record: 2009

The 2008-09 season is another one that is ridiculous to be listed as a playoff choke to be pinned on Doc Rivers. In the 2009 playoffs, the Boston Celtics held a 3-2 series lead over the Orlando Magic as the two seed. Orlando was the three seed. That alone should dismiss calling any game separated by a single game as a "choke".

Looking at the players in this series is a lot of fun as an NBA fan. The Celtics had former Milwaukee Buck Ray Allen paired with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. This was the second season of the Boston 3 Party and third for Rajon Rondo. The Orlando Magic roster looked very different than it did just a few years earlier when Doc Rivers was the head coach there. Led by leading scorer Rashard Lewis at 20.4 points per game, the Magic also had the early career, total monster and man who I would consider the best player in this series, Dwight Howard.

Dwight Howard averaged an absurd 16.4 points and 17.1 rebounds to go with 2.7 blocks per game in this series. Dwight Howard was nearly the second coming of Shaquille O'Neal in a Magic uniform with just a little bit less scoring in the late 2000s.

This Orlando Magic team would go on to defeat the top seed Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, in six games before ultimately losing to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Relinquishing a 3-2 lead to a really good Magic team who ultimately ended up in the Finals is hardly something I'd describe as a choke.