Whereas it’s no shock that Glenn “Doc” Rivers misplaced his job after Recreation 7 of the Boston Celtics collection, it’s not going to unravel the Sixers’ issues. Not by an extended shot.
ABOVE PHOTO: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS COACH DOC RIVERS calls to gamers in the course of the first half of Recreation 5 of the staff’s NBA basketball Jap Convention semifinal playoff collection in opposition to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, Could 9, 2023, in Boston. The 76ers fired Rivers on Tuesday following a 3rd straight exit within the second spherical of the playoffs (AP Picture/Charles Krupa)
By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN
As quickly as time ran out within the Philadelphia 76ers 112-88 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics in Recreation 7 of their Jap Convention second-round collection, you knew that now former Sixers head coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers was going to be on the chopping block.
The Sixers gave Rivers his strolling papers on Tuesday regardless of his compiling a 154-82 document throughout his tenure because the groups’ coach. Whereas there have been instances when followers might blame Rivers for a few of his questionable teaching methods, can any of you in good conscience actually say it was all his fault for the staff’s newest playoff exit?
By no means thoughts that Rivers is now 6-10 as a playoff head coach in Recreation 7s or the truth that his groups together with the 76ers have had a penchant for dropping playoff elimination video games. If we’re sincere with ourselves, Rivers actually can’t be blamed for the Sixers’ newest debacle within the second spherical of the NBA playoffs.
Doc was kicked to the curb by the Sixers as a result of his superstars–present NBA MVP Joel Embiid and James Harden, the NBA’s chief in assists — didn’t present up when it mattered probably the most. It was not simply Recreation 7, but additionally in Recreation 6 when the Sixers had the Celtics on the ropes. Embiid is 0-5 in convention semifinals and 0-3 in Recreation 7s.
Rivers might have devised a basketball technique conceived by the basketball gods on Mount Olympus, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Fuji, however when your superstars don’t present up within the huge video games of a collection, X and Os don’t imply a rattling factor. Within the phrases of boxing nice Mike Tyson, everybody has a plan till they get punched within the mouth.
In recreation 7, Jayson Tatum smacked the Sixers round the best way Iron Mike smacked round his opponents early in his profession. The previous Duke star scored 51 factors, probably the most ever in an NBA Recreation 7. The Sixers had no reply for him defensively and Embiid and Harden merely couldn’t sustain.
It was a completely disgraceful efficiency by the Sixers superstars. Embiid who spent many of the recreation hanging across the foul-line and the three-point line as a substitute of attacking the basket, scored simply 15 factors on 5-of-18 capturing.
In the meantime, Harden, after two 40-point video games, reverted again to “Playoff James,” who comes up brief within the postseason and scored simply 9 factors on 3-of-11 capturing. In Recreation 6, he was 3-of-14 from the sector with simply 16 factors.
As a lot as folks wish to beat up on Rivers and query his teaching capacity, Xs and O’s don’t matter as a result of he can’t exit and play the sport for his superstars. Within the playoffs, technique in a Recreation 7 the place the 2 groups are as aware of one another as Boston and the Sixers are will get thrown out the window.
It comes right down to the gamers. Tatum got here up with enormous and put his staff able to defend their Jap Convention title. Embiid got here up brief and was final seen within the media room speaking about how he and Harden can’t do it alone.
A few days later, Rivers is out of a job as a result of his gamers didn’t get it carried out on the courtroom.
If Rivers might have gotten the type of effort that Phillies supervisor Rob Thomson received out of Bryce Harper throughout his staff’s run to the World Collection and Eagles coach Nick Sirianni received out of Jalen Hurts within the Eagles journey to the Tremendous Bowl, the Sixers would have been internet hosting Recreation 1 of the Jap Convention Finals.
As I’ve stated this many instances on my radio present on WURD, the following step within the evolution of Embiid’s profession as an NBA famous person is to discover ways to carry his staff in clutch playoff conditions. He should take his recreation to the following degree.
Regardless of who the Sixers signal as their new head coach, Embiid needs to be the driving pressure of the Sixers run to the NBA title.
That’s going to take some coronary heart. And you may’t coach that.