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#pounditTuesday, February 20, 2024

Doc Rivers makes bizarre claim about calls going against 76ers

Doc Rivers in a suit

Doc Rivers looks ahead. Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers is making a pretty strange argument about foul calls relating to his star players.

Rivers claimed Thursday that center Joel Embiid and guard James Harden lead the league in being victims of uncalled fouls. The coach added that this was “not a Sixers stat,” but would not elaborate on who was actually tracking such numbers.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m campaigning, but I am. James and Joel do lead the league in missed calls as far as fouls,” Rivers claimed. “They get fouled the most, and that’s not a Sixers stat, by the way. I’m just saying.

“I will just say it’s a stat that we know that is there. Can you find out for us? You’re on ESPN, you can actually report it too, if you’d like.”

Rivers certainly isn’t totally convincing here, and he probably isn’t trying to be. He is working the officials before Game 3 even starts, just as his Brooklyn counterpart Jacque Vaughn did after Game 1 of the series. Ultimately, that tactic did not end up working out as well as the Nets might have hoped.

The 76ers were called for eight fouls in Game 1, while the Nets were whistled for 15. That changed in Game 2, when the 76ers were called for 22 fouls to Brooklyn’s 20. Rivers probably wants to do his part to try to get that number to flip back in Philadelphia’s favor for Game 3, even if he has to invent some stats to do it.

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