What Can Doc Rivers Bring to the Sixers?

Well, we as basketball fans should already know the obvious pros and cons of Doc Rivers. Rivers is one of the highest respected coaches in the league and will be remembered for many years as simply "the head coach of the Clippers". Well, Rivers has reached the end of the road with LA, and it's time to start fresh in Philadelphia with a new batch of kids.


One of the biggest problems with the 76ers, if not the biggest, was their lack of accountability, and I'm getting to this first because I think it is the most important asset that Rivers will bring to Philly. Sixers fans were in confusion at times when it looked like Joel Embiid was trying to lead the team, or Ben Simmons was the one disciplining players, meanwhile Brett Brown was sitting back taking in the whole atmosphere. With Doc Rivers, that will not be the case. People have nothing but respect for Rivers as a coach, and players will look up to him and want to play well for him. As for leadership, yes, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will have to be leaders on the court, but Rivers will be the primary leader of this team. Doc Rivers is always talking. How do I know this? Pretty much 90% of the time he's talking in post game interviews, he's extremely hoarse and struggles to get off a whole sentence without having an enormous voice crack. This is because he is always telling players where to be on the floor, what their assignments are, and just helpful tips that will help them in game. This is the type of stuff that Brett Brown didn't do, the type of stuff that this young squad needs to learn and improve. So I think not only the better players like Embiid, Simmons, and Tobias Harris will rally behind Rivers, the younger guys will too. If the Sixers' young squad wants to learn and get better, there's not many more options that are better than going to Doc Rivers for advice, and you better believe Doc will do whatever it takes to get his young crew better.


We all know that Rivers has a knack for losing in the Playoffs, but he is the second winningest active coach in the NBA. He also is the franchise leader in win percentage (0.631). Rivers has had his fair share of experience of stars. He's coached Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and he turned Tracy McGrady into a superstar when he was the head coach in Orlando. When Brett Brown was the coach of the 76ers, I just didn't feel like the players respected him enough, and I feel like they weren't playing hard for their coach. I think that will change now. With a highly respected coach around the league, players will treat Rivers with much respect and will want to play well for him. Additionally, free agents will want to play in Philly because of Rivers and what he'll bring to this team.


Doc Rivers really coached the pick and roll during the lob city era, and I think he could and should bring that to the Sixers with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. If Tobias Harris ends up playing PF, Rivers could use the plays from his Clipper days when he had Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. We saw it work excellent back then, and it could still work now, just with another team.


Regarding coaching staff, I think Doc Rivers will work well with them. I don't think that the coaching staff and Brett Brown always were on the same page, which led to some confusion on the court for players.


As of the downsides of Doc Rivers, we'll start off with his inability to have major success with two stars. We've seen it with the Clippers obviously, where he wasn't able to get Paul George going again and wasn't calling the right plays for Kawhi to score. However, you can't blame that entirely on Rivers. Kawhi and Paul George really just choked, the y flat out choked. They weren't playing the basketball that they normally do, and were honestly playing uncomfortable and nervous. So with an already struggling star tandem in Simmons and Embiid, I just don't see Rivers calling the right plays and optimizing their talent. Sixers fans are probably hyping up the fact that Rivers coached the "lob city" Clippers, but how could you not do well with a prime Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan? Now, Blake Griffin might have been in his prime, but he wasn't at his full potential yet. Griffin's play during the 2018-19 season was impeccable, and the Pistons coaching staff really brought out of him what Doc Rivers didn't. Rivers really was holding back Griffin to just pick and rolls and getting in the paint when in reality, with practice and coaching, he could dribble and shoot, along with everything else he was doing while on the Clippers. So my point is, if I were a Sixers fan, I would be a little concerned that Rivers might "hold back" one of Philly's stars. Whether it be Simmons, Embiid, or a future star we don't know about yet. Another thing I would be concerned about is how Rivers is able to keep the entire team on the same page. From the stars to the benchwarmers. The Sixers have on of the most underrated benches in the league, and Rivers will need to maximize that.


Overall, I think this is a great hire, but, like with most coaches, there will always be a downfall, we'll see what that is next season...

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