Stein: Sixers may look into Mike D’Antoni to replace Doc Rivers

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The Philadelphia 76ers swung the huge deal of the deadline when they brought in James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets. The Sixers are now expected to seriously contend in the Eastern Conference led by Harden and Joel Embiid as they look to contend for a title.

However, with the addition of Harden, there is now pressure on coach Doc Rivers to get the job done. Considering president Daryl Morey’s great relationship with Harden, he may want to bring in a guy who coached Harden to success with the Houston Rockets in the form of Mike D’Antoni who was a candidate for Philadelphia’s position before they hired Rivers.

Per NBA veteran reporter Marc Stein via his Substack:

The conspiracy theory already making the rounds in league coaching circles holds that Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey will eventually want Mike D’Antoni to take over in the hot seat for Philadelphia’s new Joel Embiid/James Harden tag team after D’Antoni’s offensive creativity helped catapult Harden to three scoring titles in Houston. Rivers certainly must factor into this season’s Coach of the Year balloting for his role in keeping the Sixers in contention for the East’s top seed throughout the Ben Simmons saga, but the pressure on him hasn’t exactly waned with an Embiid/Harden partnership to sort out and critics prone to reference his three blown 3-1 leads in the playoffs and four home losses in Game 7s far more often than the championship he won coaching the 2007-08 Celtics.

The pressure was on Morey to get the big star to put next to Embiid and to move on from Ben Simmons in order to contend for a championship, but now the pressure turns to Rivers. Morey got the guy in Harden in order for Philadelphia to contend, but now it is on Rivers to make this all work.

If not, D’Antoni appears to be waiting in the wings.

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

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