Danuel House Jr. reacts to big night off the bench to help Sixers beat Heat
MIAMI–Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers switched up the rotation on Wednesday night in Miami looking for a spark to beat the Heat.
Rather than turn to Georges Niang off the pine, Rivers went to Danuel House Jr. The veteran out of Texas A&M hadn’t played any real meaningful minutes since Jan. 21 against the Sacramento Kings. Since then, he had played in only three games and they were all in garbage time.
In Wednesday’s 119-96 win over the Heat, House Jr. had six points and two rebounds and he was a plus-7 in 17:11 of playing time. He was terrific on both ends and he helped the Sixers find a way to get it done and get back in the win column.
“I just heard my name,” said House Jr. after the win. “Just ran up there. We didn’t really talk about nothing. We just went over the breakdown and what we wanted to do as a team and that was pretty much it.”
The impressive part about House Jr.’s night was that it was almost unexpected. Normally, Rivers turns to Niang, but due to the way the Heat play, he went to House Jr. That was an adjustment Rivers made from the loss to Miami on Monday.
“Just they’re small,” said Rivers. “I saw that in the last game. I had already made my mind up on that. I was like ‘They’re gonna play small ball.’ Really no one for Georges to guard and so that was the D-House part.”
In terms of being able to stay ready despite a long stretch of not playing, House Jr. kept it simple in terms of being able to contribute in a tough spot.
“Guard,” he said simply. “Guard the yard, rebound, make sure I’m playing with the team. I had enough time watching and everything else so just wanted to make sure that I get up and keep the ball moving. Keep the ball rolling, as they will say, make shots make passes. Just be a teammate.”
Now, House Jr. and the Sixers will look to keep things moving in the right direction against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
James Harden explains Sixers' offensive success in road win over Heat
Multiple Sixers make sure to single out Paul Reed after win over Heat
Joel Embiid out for Sixers vs. Heat due to foot soreness, PJ Tucker at the 5