Many fans called for Doc Rivers’ head after the game. They couldn’t understand how their team collapsed against the Celtics with everything at stake. Rivals were calling them the biggest chokers in NBA history after the embarrassing defeat. Rivers tried to explain what went wrong but he found it difficult to explain.
The head coach reflected on the defeat in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He said: “We played great all year and this loss diminishes what we did this year in some way. I think this team is headed right, I thought we took another step this season. And then tonight I think we took a step backward. But that’s OK. That happens too.”
There were many questions about Embiid’s availability ahead of game six. He carried an LCL knee sprain through the playoffs and it appeared to inhibit him. Some people think that he shouldn’t have played but he was still the Sixers’ highest-scorer in the defeat. But the playoff chokers were overdependent on their MVP winner because they didn’t support him.
Embiid opened up after the humiliating defeat and told the world what he thought (via NESN). He said: “Can’t win alone. I can’t win alone. Me and James, we just can’t win alone. That’s why basketball is played five-on-five. So we just need everybody to keep finding ways to get better and we’ll be fine.”
Everybody knows that the City of Brotherly Love has some of the most passionate sports fans in the nation. Yes, sometimes they go too far but they care about their teams with devotion. But spare a thought for the NBA lovers because the 76ers aren’t living up to the achievements of the city’s other franchises.
The Eagles have played in three Super Bowls since the Sixers last made the Eastern Conference Finals. The Phillies had three World Series appearances while the Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup finals. Meanwhile, the Union won the MLS Cup and they didn’t even exist in 2001. That’s before we even talk about Villanova and all of its success (via Philly Voice).
The Sixers are notorious playoff chokers but it doesn’t help that their coach also has a horrible record. Rivers infamously suffered a shocking Finals loss during his time in Boston. A glance at his playoff record proves that nobody can trust him to deliver when it counts because it’s not good.
Yes, he won a ring in 2008 with Boston, ironically enough, but this was an anomaly. He has blown nine playoff series leads since then as he became the butt of many jokes. The Sixers can’t rely on Rivers to get them out of their postseason malaise because he can’t do it. They’re in danger of wasting a generation of talent because of a culture problem (via Clutchpoints).