Doc Rivers, Sixers Shrink In Spotlight, Lose To Nets 114-109

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers reacts to a play against New Orleans Pelicans during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

What started out as an exciting game for Sixers fans turned into heartbreak as the team once again squandered an opportunity.

Before the game even began, Sixers’ star Joel Embiid addressed the packed house to discuss the elephant in the room. Embiid thanked the fans for their support and asked that they continue to do so and mentioned supporting Ben Simmons by name, saying “he’s still our brother.”

After that bit of business was addressed, the team came out ready to play, showing that, with or without Simmons, they mean business this season.

The offense started off lightning-quick, with Seth Curry and Tobias Harris leading the way. Meanwhile, the defense more than held their own against what was arguably the top offense last season.

It was a closely contested game throughout, as expected between the two eastern juggernauts. There are few games as exciting for Sixers fans as matchups against the Brooklyn Nets, and tonight was a great example of why.
This game was full of highlight plays from both teams. From Joel Embiid to Kevin Durant, to even Andre Drummond, this game was all basketball fans could ask for (minus Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving).

It may have only been the second game of the year, but it was a playoff atmosphere in Philadelphia tonight. The game went down to the wire, but in the end, the Sixers fell just short.

There’s no room in this game for moral victories, especially when you consider it was once again a blown game by Head Coach Doc Rivers, but there are reasons for excitement going forward. Tyrese Maxey had another great game, as did Seth Curry and Furkan Korkmaz.

That being said, to not score in over five minutes to close a game is egregious, and that’s on everyone. The players for obvious reasons but Doc Rivers as well for not making an adjustment. Danny Green was as cold as one could be and his air-balled threes in the final minutes killed this Sixers team. The obvious move would have been to insert Furkan Korkmaz into the lineup to inject some offensive firepower.

It’s the latest in a long history of Doc Rivers disappointing at the end of games. This problem will have to be fixed at some point, and if not, the Sixers may have to consider other options going forward.