With the Eagles being in the Super Bowl, the Sixers are flying under the radar a bit. But they are playing at a very high level too. They are on an extended hot streak, winning 8 of their last 9, and are right in the mix at the top of the Eastern Conference. To discuss his team’s hot play, head coach Doc Rivers joined the Anthony Gargano Show. What does he see that has his teaming playing so well? Here is what Coach Doc Rivers had to say.
On James Harden’s Passing Skills
“He is dynamic. Passing is scoring. I don’t think a lot of people see it that way. You get 11 assists, it doesn’t sound the same as if you get 28 points. But those 11 assists, if you include 3s, can create 28 points. So now James is doing both. He is being a scorer, and being a facilitator. That is what we need him to do on this team, and he is doing it.”
On his Move to Put PJ Tucker on Nikola Jokic, and the Addition of Physicality to this Team
“We were going to do it to start the game. Then we decided before the game to wait until the third quarter because then they couldn’t adjust. A lot of times you show your hand in the first two quarters, they go in at halftime and teams have a chance to adjust. It’s tough to adjust in the 3rd and 4th with a switch like that. We didn’t know if it was going to work. But we did know that in Miami that Tuck guarded Jokic and did a really good job. So we thought it would be a good thing for us…
It is something we didn’t have last year. We didn’t have any physicality over the last two years. In my first year here, Ben did supply some of that. But not to the point Tuck does or DeAnthony (Melton) does. And then Joel can as well. That is a component we didn’t have in the past, that we do now. We can lean on our defense. We did last night and got 8 straight stops down the stretch. Those are the things that for me gives you a chance to be a winner.”
You can listen to the full conversation with Doc Rivers below…