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Sixers’ Doc Rivers Fires Back to ‘Complaints About Joel and James’

Doc Rivers, Sixers

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Doc Rivers, Sixers

Joel Embiid and James Harden love the free throw. It’s a point of pride for them. And a point of disappointment for others.

Doc Rivers has heard all the complaints from opposing coaches about his two stars. Guess what? He doesn’t care.

“We have two fouled,” Rivers told reporters on Thursday. “It’s funny, I’ve heard a lot of complaints about Joel and James and my objection is not to shame them and see if you can protect them.”

Rivers didn’t laugh when he made that comment either. He took his death very seriously, though the savvy coach was careful not to offend any league officials who might have listened. Rivers thinks referees sometimes swallow their whistles when it’s playoff time. That can take away one of the The biggest advantage of the Sixers.

“My only concern is that I believe I’m thinking about knockout – and I would say the league can say no – but I believe they allow you to play more,” Rivers said, “especially as each game unfolds. It feels like the game has become more physical. I don’t know if that’s in our favor or not.”

Embiid ranks 1st for free throws (11.8) and free throws (9.6) while Harden is 3rd for free throws (8.2) and taken (7.2). Those two players combined for a 16-18 win from the charity tournament when the Sixers and Raptors meet again on April 7.

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Embiid Feels Good Going into Post-Season

Embiid faced a wobbly knee going into the knockout stages last year, after which he tore a meniscus in his right knee in the first round. He played through the pain averaging 30.4 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Sixers big man enters the post-season this year in a much better place. Embiid won’t claim to be 100% healthy – remember, he missed the regular season finale with a sore right knee – but he was pretty close.

“Well, I won’t say it fully [healthy] but I’m right there,” said Embiid. “It feels good. I’m excited to go out there and try to play. We have a tough series ahead, so we really need to be on the right track.”


Harden continued after practice to get the shots

Harden struggled to find a tight shot, especially from the three-point line. He has scored 9 to 33 from deep in his last five games. That trend cannot continue in the knockout stages. Harden knows that. And he’s getting the necessary work done, like staying late after practice for additional photos.

“You have to get the job done,” Harden said. “So yesterday [Wednesday] I have stayed and shot a million photos just like the feeling. I haven’t had to do that in a long time, but it’s something [missing shots] I can not do it. ”

The other thing he’s been doing is building chemistry with his new teammates. He’s only worn the Sixers uniform for 21 games, so any extra exercise time can only make everyone better.

“It really helps,” Harden says of the extra practice time. “Our way of doing it and the things, the different situations, the situations in the game that I’m a bit unsure about have been clarified now.”

https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-76ers/doc-rivers-playoff-fouls/ Sixers’ Doc Rivers Fires Back to ‘Complaints About Joel and James’

Luke Plunkett

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