Doc Rivers impressed with job Willie Green has done with Pelicans

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PHILADELPHIA — There are a few connections between New Orleans Pelicans coach Willie Green and the Philadelphia 76ers. Green played for the Sixers for seven seasons (2003-2010), and he played for Doc Rivers for two seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Green was a starter for Philadelphia in the 2008 and 2009 playoffs, and he was always a very smart player. It is why Rivers thought he would make a good head coach for the Pelicans when they hired him.

After a tough 1-12 start, Green rallied the Pelicans, who charged into the postseason after knocking off both the San Antonio Spurs and the Clippers in the play-in tournament. They are doing all of this without star player Zion Williamson who has missed the season with an injury.

“He’s been amazing,” said Rivers. “It’s funny; they were good when they were bad. That sounds nuts, but coaches know. When you play a team and they have a bunch of injuries and guys out earlier in the year and they’re young, I think we played them in the first game of the year, and you come away with that, even though you thought they might be bad, but they’re gonna be good. That was the thought walking away from them and that was all Willie Green. That wasn’t a team yet. That was all Willie Green.”

Of course, the Pelicans making a big trade to acquire C.J. McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers helped, but Green did a terrific job keeping the players together. That is where Rivers has been impressed with him, and he believes they can be good for a long time.

“Obviously, they made a terrific trade, and now they have a second option or a first option, I’m not sure which option McCollum is, but when you have a 1-2 punch that they have with the way they run and play, they’re gonna be a good team for a long time,” Rivers finished. “Especially if they get Zion back.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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