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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Doc Rivers critical of James Harden after loss

Doc Rivers in a suit

The Philadelphia 76ers have lost three games in a row, and Doc Rivers isn’t letting his bench take the blame for the latest defeat.

The Sixers lost to the Detroit Pistons 102-94 on Thursday night, getting outscored by 14 points in the fourth quarter. Philly’s bench was criticized for only scoring 8 points. But Rivers doesn’t think it’s the bench’s fault. Instead, the Sixers head coach thinks James Harden was taking a lot of shots (and not delivering.)

A reporter said something in Rivers’ postgame media appearance about the bench struggling. Rivers interjected.

“They didn’t struggle; they didn’t get a lot of shots, in their defense. I think during that stretch, it was more James (Harden) than them,” Rivers said.

The comment drew attention because Rivers didn’t hesitate to call out his star player. That may be surprising to some, but that’s part of Rivers’ style. He is honest and direct, and he’s right: it’s hard to blame the bench when they only had 12 total shot attempts.

Meanwhile, Harden went 4/15 and only scored 18 points.

Harden has shot under 30 percent in four games since joining the Sixers. Philly has gone 1-3 in those games. The Sixers need Harden to deliver consistently in order to have a chance to win their games. He didn’t deliver on Thursday night, so it’s no coincidence they lost.

Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

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