#First44 Day 17: What's Up Doc (Rivers)?
Mitchell Explains Respect for Clippers Coach
Mitchell was named head coach of the North Texas women's basketball team on April 9, 2015. Between moving back to Denton, getting to know the team and beginning to operate the Mean Green program, Mitchell will be very busy early on in her tenure. We want to give fans an in-depth look at her #First44 days on the job in the form of a 44-part series that will run from April 10-May 23.
The San Antonio Spurs took a hit on Sunday when the team lost to the Los Angeles Clippers, who notched a 114-105 win to even up their playoff series 2-2. Jalie Mitchell was watching the game attentively, not as a Spurs fan but as a Doc Rivers fan. Mitchell looks up to the 15-year NBA head coaching veteran, who is now in his second year in Los Angeles.
"I like his basketball mind," she said. "He does a great job of putting his players in positions to be successful, based on their strengths. It all started for me when he was with the Celtics; they always got the shot they wanted within the parameters of Doc's system."
Going from the Boston team of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo to the Clippers crew of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul and JJ Redick is a bit different, and Mitchell respects the way Rivers has developed a specific scheme that works for his new team. So, how can watching NBA help Mitchell as an NCAA coach? In a number of ways, actually.
"Basketball is basketball. I get a lot of ideas for special situation plays from the NBA," she says. "The playoffs are my favorite time to watch because it's a win-or-go-home situation, so the competition level increases dramatically. Any college player can learn a lot from how the professionals compete out there."