April 14, 2024

Ferrum College : Iron Blade Online

Complete Canadian News World

76ers head coach Doc Rivers plans to return next season.  James Harden has not thought about his future yet

76ers head coach Doc Rivers plans to return next season. James Harden has not thought about his future yet

Tim BontempsESPNMay 14, 2023, 08:58 PM ET5 minutes to read

Doc Rivers plans to return with the 76ers next season

Doc Rivers discusses the 76ers’ Game 7 loss and his future with the team.

Boston – After losing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the third year in a row, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers said he plans to return as the team’s head coach next season, while James Harden said he hasn’t begun to think about what his offseason decision-making process will be like before deciding whether to pick up his contract next season. season or become a free agent.

“Yeah,” Rivers said after his team fell 112-88 to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon. “I think I only have two years left.”

Rivers, hired after the NBA bubble in the winter of 2020, has presided over three straight seasons with improved records, going from 49 victories in 2020-21 to 51 last season to 54 this year — the most Philadelphia has achieved in any game. season since 2001, when Allen Iverson won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and led the 76ers to their last Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals appearance.

The 76ers are hoping that Joel Embiid’s Player of the Year win presages a similar trajectory through the playoffs. Instead, it resulted in a third straight Conference Semifinal loss, after losing in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks in 2021 and in six games to the Miami Heat last season.

When asked about the status of his relationship with Rivers, and whether he thinks he should return as coach next season, Harden simply said, “Our relationship is fine.”

Embiid, meanwhile, has been effusive in his praise of Rivers — though he’s also said, as the league has witnessed with the recent firings of Monty Williams in Phoenix and Mike Bodenholzer in Milwaukee, that the business of coaching is tough, and that he’s glad he’s not the one making those decisions.

“The coach has been amazing, and he did a great job, in my opinion,” Embiid said.

Philadelphia had two chances to advance past Boston in this series. But after leading 83-81 with less than 6 minutes left in Game 6 on Thursday night, Philadelphia stormed out 14-3 at home to close out the game and see the Celtics keep their season alive — only then to be obliterated in the third quarter Sunday, Lost 33-10 to see Balloon go from 3 points in the first half to 26 after 3 quarters.

That made the final 12 minutes nothing more than an extended binge for the sellout crowd, who celebrated Boston’s reach to the Eastern Conference Finals for at least the fifth time in the past seven years.

“We’ve played great all year, and this loss completely takes away from that, what we’ve done this year, in some ways,” Rivers said.

Harden, meanwhile, was asked directly about his plans for the summer after spending his first full season in Philadelphia, where he led the league in assists and helped Embiid win Most Valuable Player honors, but ultimately fell short of the playoffs again.

“I didn’t even think about it,” Harden said. This summer, Harden can either sign up for or turn down a $35.6 million player option for next season to become an unrestricted free agent.

When asked shortly thereafter what he hoped his next opportunity after free agency would look like, Harden said, “I just want to have a chance to compete.”

Across Philadelphia’s four losses in this series, Harden shot just 12-for-55—including 3-for-24 from 3-point range, while going 37-for-61 in the team’s three wins.

“They did a really good job,” Harden said of Boston’s defense in Game 7, which forced him to shoot 3-for-11 from the field, including 1-for-5 of 3. Robert Williams was in the paint, you know what I mean? We made him pay early and then we kind of walked away from what was working and everything slowed down. “

Now, Philadelphia will be heading into another season after a disappointing second-round exit. With the loss, Rivers now has 10 losses in Game 7 as a head coach, twice as many as any other coach in NBA history (6-10 record), according to ESPN Stats & Info. He’s lost five consecutive Game 7s.

Rivers has also now lost to the second round of the playoffs six times since leaving Boston after the 2013 season, and hasn’t reached the conference finals since doing so with the Celtics in 2012.

He said he and the 76ers will spend a lot of time thinking about the missed opportunities they had in the series — specifically in Game 6 — this summer as they try to come to terms with this latest setback.

Asked about this situation again, Rivers said, “Disappointed.” “I’m disappointed. I thought we had the right group. I really did.

“It’s funny. I look and talk about keeping receipts sometimes, you know what I mean? I don’t think a single person in this room chose The Sixers. Nobody. But we did. We chose to believe we could anyway, and we almost made it.”

“Game 6 will be something we’ll think about. Game 7 will be something we’ll think about. But as far as our guys fight, against whoever picked against us, they didn’t care. They thought they could still win this series and that’s a good thing for our team. I thought overall we were fighters.” .

See also  Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald hints at a comeback during the Super Bowl parade