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Doc Rivers can blame himself for Clippers’ collapse

Doc Rivers the coach has no one to blame for the Clippers’ collapse except for Doc Rivers the president of basketball operations. You didn’t get that feeling Sunday after he became the first coach in NBA history to lose a playoff series twice after being up 3-1.

Here’s what the former Proviso East star told USA Today after the devastating loss to the Rockets:

“I want to fix it. I want to win. That’s why I came here. I knew when I came here that roster-wise it was going to be very difficult. The first thing I did before I took this job, I looked at the roster and we laughed. I was like, ‘What the [expletive] can we do with this?’ It was more the contracts. But we have to try to do it somehow. I don’t know how yet, but something will work out.”

With little cap room to work with last offseason, Rivers brought in Spencer Hawes, Jordan Farmar (gone), Chris Douglas-Roberts (gone), Jared Cunningham (gone) and Ekpe Udoh to go with an aging Jamal Crawford and a girthy Glen Davis. Rivers picked up his son, Austin, in a mid-season trade. Not exactly the type of bench that screams for a nickname.

With little help from reserves, the Clippers’ starting five—arguably the best in the league—wore down physically and mentally against the uptempo Rockets.

To add to Rivers’ problems, center DeAndre Jordan becomes one of the most coveted free agents this offseason. With most of the dollars tied up in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers will have to spend even more to retain Jordan, leaving little left to fix the bench.

In the words of Rivers, “What the [expletive] can [he] do with this?’