PHILADELPHIA–With the Philadelphia 76ers missing Joel Embiid on Wednesday, coach Doc Rivers had to get creative. The Sixers have a few options they can go to as they continue to figure out how they want to handle these types of situations on the floor.
In a win over the Indiana Pacers, Rivers went small. He started Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton alongside James Harden and the Sixers were able to use their 3-guard lineup in order to build a big 13-point lead.
Considering how fast the Pacers play, Rivers wanted to match that with Embiid off the floor.
“I just think the way they play with their speed, I thought we can match it,” Rivers explained. “So that’s why we went that way.”
The Sixers then went away from that lineup due to the play of Montrezl Harrell in order to close out the win. Harrell had 19 points and four blocks off the bench.
“Trez was just so good,” Rivers added. “He was given us help on both ends. I just thought he was the right guy.”
Then there was Maxey who played a really big factor in them being able to play well in the second half. He is continuing to get his timing and rhythm back, because it’s definitely not there yet, but Rivers trusted him enough to throw him out there in a big moment in his recovery from injury.
“Obviously, he still didn’t have his rhythm yet, but it’s still coming,” Rivers said of Maxey. “You can see that. He had a pick-and-roll late in the game where he came off and just passed the ball and I in the timeout said ‘That is not what we call it pick and roll for’, but it’s coming. You can see it. Just it’s coming. It’ll be back very soon.”
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