James Harden endured a tough night of shootouts in a 102-94 loss on Thursday night. He fouled 4 out of 15 off the field while turning the ball 3 times. Harden was unable to buy a bucket – or dribble due to difficulty – in the fourth quarter for the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sixers’ bench was overtaken by Detroit with a score of 39-8. Harden was on the floor with the second unit for a long time when Joel Embiid rested. He cannot bear it alone, Remind Doc Rivers to make a statement that will be blown out of context/rate for weeks. He defended those on his bench while seemingly blaming Harden for failing to adapt to the converted Pistons defence.
“Well, they didn’t have a hard time, they didn’t get many shots, in their defense,” Rivers told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I think during that time, James was more [Harden] than them. So, you know, it was just a rough night. “
Don’t get Rivers wrong. Or start comparing the comment to what he said about Ben Simmons after last year’s playoffs. It’s a total lack of commitment.
“We played with very little life tonight,” Rivers said. “Not playing together tonight, that’s what we’ve been doing. It was just one of those nights, but it was a tough one. “
Harden only completed the double: 18 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists. He started the competition like a hurricane, then cooled as he was brought in with bench gear. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid continued to deliver his MVP title with 37 points and 15 rebounds. Tobias Harris added 14 points after a tough loss sent them down to 4th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Sixers follow the Heat, Bucks and Celtics with six games remaining.
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The Sixers Aren’t Worried About Sowing Playoff Seeds
If the season ends today, the Sixers will face the Chicago Bulls in the first leg playoff series. It doesn’t and nobody seems to care what the seeds end up being. Rivers knew it was going to be “tough skiing” for everyone in the East.
“We love where we are but there’s so much to do,” Rivers told reporters Tuesday night. “That’s why I never look back too much, you know this is going to be a tough ski trip for everyone. We all see, the East is superimposed. Who do you want to play? No no no. All is good. So that’s how it goes and you just have to be ready to play.”
Rivers pointed to two teams during the dance to watch. The Bucks and Suns – last year’s championship finalists – are in beta and ready to go.
“I’m looking specifically at Milwaukee and Phoenix, and I think those two teams are ready,” Rivers said. “If the playoffs started today, the two teams would know exactly who they are. They knew exactly what to do, they got through the fire, no one else did.”
DeAndre Jordan replaces Paul Millsap
One of the storylines from the Sixers’ 118-116 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday was DeAndre Jordan’s absence. He didn’t have a minute when Rivers accompanied Paul Millsap against Giannis Antetokounmpo. He wants a smaller, sportier squad to mix and match. It doesn’t work.
“I think Millsap in the first half played well,” Rivers said. “I think in the second half he struggled.”
In the game against Detroit, Rivers returned to Jordan, who saw Embiid 10 minutes of relief. He had 2 points and 1 rebound with a score of -9. Millsap did not play in this section. And Paul Reed signed up with less than a minute to compete to provide an extra big body and bounce.
https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-76ers/doc-rivers-defends-sixers-bench-fires-shot-at-james-harden/ James Harden’s comment goes viral after Doc Rivers defends Sixers Bench