Doc Rivers will remain 76ers head coach, Daryl Morey says

After the Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat on Thursday night, some attention turned to head coach Doc Rivers.

But when faced with questions about his future, Rivers remained defiant.

“I don’t worry about my job. I think I do a terrific job,” Rivers said. “If you don’t, then you should write it. Because I worked my butt off to get this team here. When I first got here, no one picked us to be anywhere. Again this year, the same thing. If that’s how anyone feels, write it. I’m going to feel secure about it. “

Turns out, Rivers was right to feel secure, as 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said on Friday that his head coach would return for next season.

Rivers is signed through the 2024-25 season, but after another early exit – the 76ers were the No. 1 seed last year and lost in the second round – his job status has been a hot topic of conversation.

But Rivers also had to deal with a number of issues that were beyond his control, including Ben Simmons’ refusal to suit up for the team this season, which led to his trade to Brooklyn.

That trade brought James Harden to Philly in return, but Harden showed a noticeable decline in his game.

As FOX Sports NBA Writer Yaron Weitzman wrote:

It’s not just that Harden turns 33 in August. It’s that the skills that made him unguardable have already fled to erode. His explosive first step is gone. That lack of burst has allowed defenders to press up on him when he dances with the ball At the top of the key.That has left Harden with less space to moonwalk into his signature step-back.Combine all that with the league’s offseason rule changes that made it more difficult to draw fouls, and you’ve basically removed two-thirds of Harden’s tools. “

On top of this, Rivers didn’t have his best player – Joel Embiid – at full strength in the series.

Embiid missed the first two games of the Heat series as he recovered from a concussion. The Sixers lost both games in Miami.

James Harden disappeared in 76ers’ elimination

James Harden disappeared in 76ers' elimination

Ryen Russillo joins Joy Taylor after the Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs. Russillo explains why doesn’t blame Joel Embiid for vocalizing that James Harden “wasn’t the guy” this postseason, and what the future will look like for Embiid and Doc Rivers.

On Thursday, he again gutted out a postseason game in his mask (right orbital fracture) and will have surgery on torn ligaments in his right thumb. He was only cleared to return last week from the concussion. He held the back of his head after he knocked it on the court after a fall late in the second quarter. Embiid still played 22 minutes in the first half and scored 14 points.

“At some point, you’ve got to stop looking at coaches and the front office,” Embiid said. “You’ve got to look at the players. Maybe we’re just not good enough.”

Reporting by Associated Press.

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