Embiid drops 40, Sixers blow a 24-point lead, Doc Rivers’ embarrassing press conference
With roughly seven minutes left in the third quarter, the Philadelphia 76ers watched a 24-point lead disappear, along with an easy win against a Los Angeles Clippers team that was playing without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
On a night in which Joel Embiid scored 40 points, the Sixers struggled to prove much of any support outside of three players, and the Clippers stole a win at the Wells Fargo Center 102-101.
Embiid has been so dominant over his past 15 games that at this point, these nights are starting to look routine. The Clippers did everything in their power to force anyone besides Embiid to beat them, but he couldn’t be stopped, finishing with 40 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists.
I mean hell, Embiid has scored 90 combined points over his last two games. Want to expand those numbers further? Here’s what Embiid has put up over his last 15 games.
40 PTS – 13 REB
50 PTS – 12 REB
32 PTS – 8 REB
32 PTS – 12 REB
25 PTS – 13 REB
31 PTS – 6 REB
31 PTS – 8 REB
31 PTS – 12 REB
31 PTS – 5 REB
31 PTS – 15 REB
34 PTS – 7 REB
36 PTS – 11 REB
36 PTS – 13 REB
23 PTS – 10 REB
41 PTS – 10 REB
Embiid is playig a level of basketball that is so far above anyone else in the world right now but unfortunately, his supporting cast outside of Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey have yet to be able to provide him with any consistent type of offense. Embiid remains the sole reason that the 76ers stand a chance to win nightly basis.
Last night, that just wasn’t enough for this 76ers team.
Tobias Harris put up another vintage Harris performance last night, where he was completely unnoticeable at times, but still impressed on the stat sheet. Harris finished with 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Harris continues to get better working with the space that’s left open while opposing teams double-team Joel Embiid. His growing patience on the court has given him better looks and more opportunities to find he basket.
Do yourself a favor and don’t let Tyrese Maxey’s game winning shot attempt last night cloud how good he was throughout the game.
Maxey for the win…so close
He posted 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting with eight assists, while hitting 50% of his three point attempts shooting 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Maxey’s three point shooting from his rookie campaign to now in his second year has increased 10%, jumping from 30.1% last year to now 40.6% this year. Talk about progression.
Role Player Struggles
After giving Charlie Brown Jr. the start last game, the Sixers went with Isaiah Joe in the starting lineup last night, giving him his first start of the season and second of his career. After scoring the Sixers’ opening basket on a beautiful catch-and-shoot three pointer, really nothing else fell for Joe or the rest of the Sixers’ role players thoughout the game.
Everyone not named Joel Embiid missed 14-of-18 shots to start the game. Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang, and Isaiah Joe combined to make only 3-of-17 three point attempts. Niang himself started off 0-for-5 from the floor and Korkmaz finished the night 2-for-7, and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Outside of Embiid, Harris, and Maxey, no other player on the 76ers scored more than seven points (Niang) and it was clear that the Sixers were missing Seth Curry, Matisse Thybulle, and dare I say Danny Green as their normal supporting cast of players.
What in the actual hell was Doc Rivers doing last night in his post game press conference?
After being asked a question by some dummy in the media about what part of the loss was coaching, Rivers lost his cool and responded like this:
This isn’t the first time that he has lost his cool on a reporter, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
To be clear, the question itself was pretty stupid and could have easily been rephrased. It’s almost like this “reporter” expected it to be intentionally bothersome, but in the end, Doc Rivers answered it like a complete idiot.
To start, “Would you ask Pop that question” is a ridiculous response. I don’t even understand the comparison, honestly. Popovich has won five NBA titles and is a three-time NBA coach of the year. Im unfamiliar with who Austin Krell or The Painted Lines is but I think that question, although phrased poorly, is something that would be reasonable to ask Pop if he continued to struggle and play down to his opponents and teams without their best players.
Rivers saying that “he earned that” was completely ridiculous as well. What exactly have you earned, Doc? The only thing I can recall you earning is historic collapses in the NBA playoffs, that expand far past your most recent one last year in Philadelphia. Speaking of Philaelphia, nothing is earned in this town.
Rivers sounded like Ben Simmons saying “well, I’m an All-Star, so…”. Talk about tone deaf.
Overall, what is the deal with Rivers and these press conferences? Your basketball team is playing fairly well and entered last night winning 8-of-10 games and sitting steadily in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. There’s no benefit of answering reporters like this, even if it is some kid from a website no one has heard of called The Painted Lines.
Philadelphia still remains firmly in the mix, sitting at 5th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Sixers take a brief, one game road trip to San Antonio this weekend to take on the Spurs before returning for a four game home stand.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports Philadelphia