Sports Writer and Analyst. Occasionally, I will write about other topics.
The Philadelphia 76ers sign Doc Rivers as their new head coach.
Within days of losing his job as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, Doc Rivers was hired as the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. This move could shake-up the Eastern Conference for many seasons to come. It is reported that he has reached a deal with the ambiguous 76ers franchise to be their new head coach for the next five seasons.
With rivers at the helm of the 76ers, they might be the best team in the Eastern Conference for the 2020-21 season. The 76ers have all of the talent necessary on their roster to win a championship. They feature one of the best young duos in the NBA coupled with a supporting cast including Tobias Harris, Alec Burks, Al Horford, and Mike Scott. Despite what many think, the 76ers don't have roster issues. However, something has been missing when the 76ers play basketball. Perhaps Doc is the answer to the 76ers problems.
I dislike seeing NBA teams underperform, especially in the playoffs. The 76ers for years have underperforming as a team when it counts the most. Climaxing with the 76ers were swept in the first round of the 2020 playoffs. Granted Ben Simmons was injured, however, the 76ers were abysmal in their efforts to beat the Celtics. And Joel Embiid showed some improvements and averaged 30.0 PPG and 12.3 RPG in only 36.3 MPG.
Currently, the 76ers are the apex of an underperforming franchise. At the start of the season, I thought the 76ers were the second-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics. The 76ers have not experienced playoff success in a very long time. Their fans have suffered more than just a drought that spans a couple of seasons. The franchise has not been to a conference finals in the past 19 seasons.
The 76ers’ star duo still has some issues they need to work out. Embiid’s only impediment has been his minute restrictions. As for Simmons he simply needs to become a better score. The 76ers were 10-5 last season when Simmons scored over 19 points in a game. Simons has to develop into more of a scorer for the 76ers to be successful in the playoffs. He has all of the talent necessary to really be the 76ers second offensive option.
Coach Rivers has previously coached Tobias Harris when he was on the Los Angeles Clippers. With Doc as his coach, Rivers averaged 20.9 points per game. Rivers should be able to get the most out of Harris as a player. Either Tobias Harris or Ben Simmons has to develop into the 76ers secondary offensive option.
Similar to the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, Simmons when he is playing well is reminiscent of Magic Johnson. The elite point-guard and center duo is rare in the NBA. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s dominance and Magic’s passing abilities created scoring opportunities for their teammates. However, the Lakers had a great secondary offensive option in James Worthy. The Lakers under Magic's leadership made 9 conference final appearances and 8 NBA final appearances.
Lastly, the 76ers need more effort when they play. The playoffs are competitive enough and teams need every edge they can get in order to win. Doc should be able to give the 76ers real hopes of winning a championship and hopefully, this will inspire his players.
In the end, the 76ers troubles over the past couple of seasons have not been explainable to many. However, with Doc as their new head coach, the 76ers are sure to be an NBA title contender in no time.
With their current roster and head coach, I would see the 76ers should be the favorites to win the Eastern Conference next season. And at a very minimum, make a conference final appearance.