Doc Rivers addresses Sixers’ bench struggles in home loss to Celtics
PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers had a chance to make a statement at home on Saturday when they played host to the top-seeded Boston Celtics. They saw a 15-point lead slip away in the third quarter and while they rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth, it didn’t matter as Jayson Tatum lifted the Celtics to a 110-107 win.
A big issue on Saturday night was the bench unit. With Tyrese Maxey struggling on offense, Philadelphia couldn’t get much out of that group. The Sixers were outscored by Boston 27-12 in bench points as the Celtics got 18 points out of Derrick White.
“I didn’t think we moved the ball,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I didn’t think we played with any rhythm in that stretch and that’s something we haven’t been doing, but we did it tonight, and Boston is great when you try to play that way. They’re too good to try to play them in ISO. They’re long, they’re switchable, they contest everything at the basket, and I thought they did that.”
Embiid was terrific on Saturday as he scored 41 points on 12-for-21 shooting and he was 17-for-18 from the foul line. When he went to the bench for eight minutes, the Sixers were outscored by 11 points.
Joel Embiid played 40 minutes.
In the 8 minutes he sat, the Sixers were outscored by 11 points. https://t.co/vXu3WCyDkJ
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) February 26, 2023
While the Sixers will rely on Embiid and James Harden to be the catalysts for whatever they do, they will need others to step up off that bench unit. That means Georges Niang, Maxey, and Jalen McDaniels have to give more in order to support the starters.
Without the help of the bench unit, it will not matter much what the stars do if it’s just going to slip away when they’re on the bench.
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