Sixers fire ‘Doc’ Rivers

Goodbye Doc Rivers. The Sixers have fired the coach after the elimination against the Celtics in the conference semifinals. The debacle, confirmed after winning 3-2 and losing by beating (112-88) in the seventh game at the Garden, has caused the coach to leave through the back door of the entity he joined in 2021. It ends like this a stage in which the Sixers, who have not played in the Eastern finals since 2001, have failed to become a true contender or beat any truly important rival. Rivers has closed the three regular seasons in which he has been with 49, 51 and 53 victories, losing in the second round in all those years: against the Hawks in 2021 (4-3), against the Heat last year (4-2) and against the Celtics a few hours ago. The greens are also the particular black beast of the project, a team that got them out of the playoffs also in 2018 (4-1, semifinals) and in 2020 (4-0 in the first round).

Rivers (61 years old), a great base during his time as a player in Atlanta, has been consistently pointed out as one of the culprits in the situation. With an impeccable reputation at the star management level and always labeled as good unclehis inability to overcome limit situations in the playoffs has been a constant throughout his career: up to 7 times his teams have been eliminated when they had 3-1 or 3-2 leads, more than any other coach in NBA history. His lack of slate, his mess with the rotations and his insistence on the same plan have ended up condemning him, staining the reputation of one of the few coaches who exceeds 1,000 victories on the bench and who was also champion of the ring in 2008 , in which it was the last of the 17 Celtics rings, the only one of the 21st century.

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The Sixers, who will also have to decide what happens with James Harden (a player option that he could reject in order to be a free agent), thus begin their path towards a future in which they have many things to think about. Daryl Morey does not hit the key in the offices and is now looking at other coaches to fill the position: Sound Monty Williams, Frank Vogel, Nick Nurse, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni (who already coincided with Morey and Harden in the Rockets) and Mike Budenholzer. Williams, Nurse and Budenholzers have been fired in the current playoffs after the eliminations of the Suns, Raptors (in the play-in) and Bucks respectively, Rivers being the fourth coach to say goodbye in the final phase, which is leaving many corpses for the path.

Now several things remain to be seen: if Rivers returns to train in the NBA, the first. And where do the Sixers decide to move next. Precisely the one indicated in the series against the Celtics has not been the coach, although he was finally the scapegoat. The level of Embiid, MVP of the regular season, is truly in question, while Harden has been on and off and seems a long way from his glory days. His future could be in Houston, a franchise to which he was linked from 2012 to 2020 and of which he is a true hero. The Cameroonian center is going to turn 30, while the shooting guard, on his way to turning 34, is highly criticized for his habits and his behavior, and now the level is not with him either. A future full of uncertainty for the Philadelphia entity and many problems to solve. At the moment, the one that comes out is Doc Rivers. The rest, we’ll see.

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