Doc Rivers explains turning to Danuel House Jr. in win over Celtics

BOSTON–The Philadelphia 76ers needed somebody to step up on the road on Tuesday in order to pick up a win over the Boston Celtics. After shortening his rotation in Game 4, coach Doc Rivers expanded it again in Game 5.

Instead of turning back to Jalen McDaniels, the Sixers turned to Danuel House Jr. The veteran out of Texas A&M hadn’t played any extensive, real minutes in this postseason, but the 29-year-old stayed ready and when Rivers called his name, he was ready to go.

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House Jr. scored 10 points and had five rebounds in 15 minutes of work off the bench and he helped the Sixers knock off the Celtics 115-103. Philadelphia now has a 3-2 lead in this series.

“You go with a gut,” Rivers said afterward. “I can tell you we talked about it painstakingly yesterday and today between three guys who to play and I can tell you House was not the pick, but I just picked him. I thought we needed size and we needed athleticism. That’s something that he has.”

Rivers’ gut feeling turned out to be one terrific move as the Sixers benefited from House Jr.’s play off the bench.

“To be honest with you, he really didn’t tell me—yeah, he told me a role, but he just told me go in and play and my job was to bring energy,” House Jr. said. “Showcase a little bit for the team, guard the yard, and make sure I’m executing plays.”


James Harden has played with House Jr. before when they were both with the Houston Rockets. He understands how his game is and he was happy to see him out there for Philadelphia in a big moment.

“He knows his role in this league,” Harden said of House Jr. “Obviously, he can make a shot, but he’s really good at finishing. He’s a really good defender. A guy that can do multiple things fits anywhere on any team and I’m happy that he’s on our team.”

House Jr. has also played in many playoff games during his career whether it’s with the Rockets, the Utah Jazz, or now with the Sixers. He can step up in any moment and he proved it again on Tuesday.

“It’s huge,” House Jr. said of hs playoff experience. “It’s huge because much necessary—he (Rivers) trusted his gut feeling. He went with a guy that has some experience.”



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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire