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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Doc Rivers makes claim about playoff failures in Philly return

Doc Rivers in a suit

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

Doc Rivers returned to Philadelphia as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, and made a claim about last year’s playoffs that probably will not make 76ers fans feel any better.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Rivers reflected on his tenure with the Sixers, particularly how the team failed to close out the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Boston in 2023 despite a Game 6 at home with a 3-2 series lead. Rivers said he felt the 76ers should have won that game, but failed to get the ball to Joel Embiid enough — even though that had been the gameplan.

“I didn’t think Joel got the ball enough. Trust me, it was for him to get it and he didn’t get it,” Rivers said. “I don’t know how healthy he was.”

The 76ers held a 73-71 lead entering the fourth quarter of that Game 6, but managed just 13 points in the final quarter and lost the game and eventually the series. Embiid scored 26 points with 10 rebounds in the game, but was limited to six points on 3-of-6 shooting in the final quarter.

Rivers is perhaps being genuine, and there’s no doubt he has regrets considering how close Philadelphia came to winning that series. However, detractors will probably see this as Rivers making more excuses for his past failures.

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