Three things we learned during Doc Rivers’ media session

Philadelphia 76ers
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 01: Philadelphia 76ers Guard Shake Milton (18) looks on during a NBA game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

New Sixers head coach Doc Rivers met with the media on Tuesday.

One of the more significant moves that the Sixers made this offseason, the team hired future Hall of Famer Doc Rivers to be their newest head coach. The team desperately needed a change of pace after seven straight years with Brett Brown, and Rivers ended up surprisingly being available.

With the Sixers’ first preseason game just two weeks away, Rivers met with the media via Zoom to answer some questions and discuss his new roster. Here are the three biggest takeaways from the call:

A change in tempo will occur.

One of the things that River repeatedly mentioned throughout his call was that of having a team “identity”. Rivers spoke on having a strong defense, a deep bench, and most importantly a fast and explosive offense.

The Sixers offense completely stalled out last year, largely due to the roster’s overall lack of shooting. The lane was routinely clogged with Horford, Embiid, and Simmons all trying to operate down low, and it led to scoring points becoming an absolute chore.

It appears Rivers wants to attack this problem head-on, and he already has a few ideas. The added floor spacing will help, consistent pick and rolls are set to be worked back into the playbook, and guys like Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz will likely be given more offensive freedom coming off the bench.

He’s not worried about Simmons shooting threes (yet).

The primary talking point when it comes to Ben Simmons, it doesn’t sound like Rivers is going to force the star point guard into taking multiple threes a game right off the bat.

Rivers will likely try to establish an offense based around Ben’s strengths (speed, athleticism, ball distribution, etc.) before diving into the jump-shot discussion.

Doc really likes Shake Milton!

We just mentioned it in regards to Milton helping open up the offense, but it’s worth noting that Rivers spoke extremely highly of Milton when prompted about a potential bench point guard. Rivers even went as far as to say, “Right when I took the job, Shake was where my focus has been.”

As I’m sure you all remember, Milton dropped a career-high 39 points on Doc’s LA Clippers back in early March, so the newly hired Sixers coach is more than familiar with Shake’s ability. Considering the success that Rivers has had with “sixth men” like Jamal Crawford and Lou Williams, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Milton grow into a really strong bench option for Philly this season.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire