Doc Rivers addresses rebounding issues for Sixers in loss to Wizards

WASHINGTON–The Philadelphia 76ers had an 8-game winning streak snapped with a loss to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in a game that felt like they didn’t really deserve to win.

The Wizards shot 56.5% from the floor in the second quarter and they built a lead as large as 15 in the first half. They were a much more physical team than the Sixers and they were also attacking the glass aggressively in order to gain an advantage.

While overall, both the Sixers and the Wizards had 39 total rebounds each, Washington had 14 offensive rebounds on the night which led to 20 second-chance points. They had seven offensive rebounds in the first half which led to 11 of those second-chance points. The first half is what made the difference for Washington on the night.

“Again, I don’t think rebounding comes from size,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I think rebounding come from keeping the ball in front of you. When you keep the ball in front of you, then your big is on a big if you’re getting beat off the dribble every single time, then your bigs are going to help, now their bigs have a guard, then you do get small.”

This has been something Rivers has been harping on a lot recently. For example, during their 0-3 road trip from Nov. 30 through Dec. 5, they had some rebounding issues which Rivers blamed on not keeping the ball in front of them which forced Embiid to have to help and stay off the body of the opposing big man.

On Tuesday, things were better on the glass, but the Sixers didn’t come with the right energy to start the game and it cost them.

“I thought in the second half, they (the Wizards) didn’t drive as much,” Rivers added. “They didn’t get as many offensive rebounds. Same thing in the Knick game, but if we’re gonna get beat off the dribble, then offensive rebounds is going to be a problem. We got to contain the ball better than we did.”

On Washington’s side of things, Daniel Gafford had four offensive rebounds, Kristaps Porzingis had three, and even Deni Avdija and Taj Gibson had two each. This has been a problem for Philadelphia and if they don’t fix it, then this is something that will be magnified in the playoffs.

“Rebound,” said Tobias Harris. “Being physical, hit them, make them take tough looks really, and guard a whole possession. All 24. All 24 is when a shot goes up of cracking your guy and going in there and getting a board and I thought too many times they were able to find lanes to get rebounds and that was, that was everybody that was out there at the time. On the defensive end, it’s a collective effort for all five guys.”

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire