Doc Rivers wants Sixers to be more disciplined with transition defense

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Ky Carlin
·2 min read
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The Philadelphia 76ers have been one of the better defensive teams in the NBA all season. Led by their defensive star duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, teams have had a hard time scoring points against such elite defensive players. Throw in Matisse Thybulle off the bench and it’s a nightmare to score against them.

However, transition defense is the area the Sixers need to work on the most.

Philadelphia gave up 20 fast-break points in Wednesday’s loss to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, and it was something coach Doc Rivers wanted to point out to his team at practice on Friday.

“I would say, defensively where we can improve, transition D would be number one,” said Rivers. “Then just the mental lapses. We showed our team today, I think we had 14 points of just our fault, defensively and in single possession games, those come back and haunt you.”

The Sixers, on the season, give up 1.19 fast-break points per possession per Synergy Sports which is good for 19th in the league and fifth-worst in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia also gives up 20.9 fast break points per game which is fourth-worst in the East.

This is something that has to be fixed as the season goes on.

“That gets better by getting back, and I’m serious on that one,” said Rivers. “We got to have better discipline. We showed a couple where the shot was in the air and on the release of the shot, you should be getting back, where we’re watching the action, to see if we get an offensive rebound and then we get back in the action.”

One could make the argument the Sixers have been dealing with a multitude of injuries and players being in and out due to the league’s health and safety protocols, but Rivers is not using that as an excuse. They have to be better in that aspect of their defense.

“We have to be back,” he finished. “We gave up a big layup to them, two of them actually, because we didn’t get back. I don’t think it has anything to do with injury in this case. I think it has to do with discipline.”

The Sixers will host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday as they look to bounce back from the loss.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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