James Harden comes under fire from 76ers coach Doc Rivers
With three losses in a row, the 76ers are not in good shape and head coach Doc Rivers has made his feelings clear, especially concerning James Harden,
At the start of this season the Nets were among the favorites to be crowned champions, now they are not only in a battle to make the playoffs but are seemingly not getting the best out of some of their biggest names, like James Harden
The 76ers' are stumbling when it matters most
Less than a week ago the Philadelphia 76ers managed to throw away a 14-point lead over Milwaukee Bucks, as they seemingly imploded in a heartbreaking loss that came down to the very last play. Indeed, Joel Embiid could only watch in horror as his potential game-tying layup was blocked by Giannis Antetokounmpo in the final seconds of the game. As bad as that was, however, the Sixers slump was further compounded on Thursday night when they fell to the Detroit Pistons 102-94. To add further disappointment to the equation, the Pistons it should be said are on a path to the lottery, which is to say, not a good look for Philly.
At least against the Bucks, one could excuse the fact that a two-time NBA MVP quite simply went crazy, as Giannis went on a 15-0 run in the closing moments of the game. Against Detroit on the other hand, Philadelphia pretty much self sabotaged. During the fourth quarter in particular, they were abysmal with 37.5 percent shooting from the field. They had five turnovers which was believe it or not one less than the amount of shots that they made with six. In total the Sixers were outscored 29-15 in the final period, as they let yet another lead slip through their fingers.
Doc Rivers calls out the 76ers
Speaking after the loss 76ers head coach Doc Rivers was frank about both his team's lack of quality, having watched them score just seven points in the final five minutes and 52 seconds of the game. "I thought it was a tough game," Rivers said. "I thought offensively we really just stood around. They were switching; we just played outside and didn't move the ball as a group. At halftime we were shooting 42 percent I think, and I just thought the fouls bailed us out. We were awful in the first half, too. We played with very little life tonight, didn't play together tonight at all. That's something we've been doing. It's just one of those nights, but a tough one."
James Harden was at fault against the Bucks
Harsh though it may seem, the reality is that Rivers' critique was fair for a team that has developed somewhat of a habit of capitulation in recent seasons. One major difference, however, is the presence of James Harden who it must be said, was acquired to bring an end to the very problem. Harden, however, has not been the revelation that was expected and Thursday's performance was unfortunately no different. Though he turned in a decent 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, the truth is Harden was poor on the night as a whole with 4 for 15 from the field.
Speaking on his player and the situation at hand even Rivers couldn't hide his displeasure with the performance of one of his stars. Rivers actually directly spoke on Harden while defending his 2nd team to a certain extent. "Well, [the bench] didn't struggle," Rivers said. "They didn't get a lot of shots in their defense. I think during that stretch, it was more James than them. So you know, yeah, it's just a tough night." With this latest result and Rivers' subsequent comments one might be tempted to think there is a problem brewing, even more so when there has been rumor that some members of the team aren't happy with Rivers. In the end, however, the main problem still remains the same, which is that the Sixers have now lost three in a row as they head towards the playoffs. Is there drama on the horizon or can the team and their coach patch things up? Watch this space!
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