The Philadelphia 76ers swept their way through the first round and now await the (seemingly inevitable) results of Celtics-Hawks to determine their second round matchup. While the Sixers’ rapid disposal of Brooklyn was quite impressive, P.J. Tucker said it best — for this team, the playoffs start now.
Joel Embiid has put together another historic season for the Sixers. James Harden might make another All-NBA team. Tyrese Maxey has ascended to new heights this postseason, and Tobias Harris just put together arguably his best all-around playoff series as a Sixer. Not to mention Playoff P.J. Tucker, the Paul Reed-aissance, and Philly’s better-than-ever second unit. If any Sixers team is destined to compete far into the playoffs, it’s this one.
But here we are, with the fanbase once again coiled in dread awaiting their vaunted rivals in the second round. Assuming Boston gets past Atlanta, the Sixers will be significant underdogs in that series — especially with looming concern over Joel Embiid’s playing status.
Shams Charania of The Athletic recently said that if the Sixers don’t get past the second round, Philadelphia will be “on watch,” not only with James Harden, but with Rivers too. While that was only speculation, there’s a difference between speculation from your neighbor Joe and speculation from Shams Charania.
3 potential head coach replacements if 76ers fire Doc Rivers
The Sixers potentially have a built-in excuse with Embiid’s knee injury, but the team has pushed all its proverbial chips in at this point. Philadelphia is spending an exorbitant amount of money, it rosters three ostensibly “star-level” players (including the presumptive MVP), and the supporting cast has never been more solid. Another second round exit would force the front office and ownership to really consider the path forward.
It’s not unlikely that another early exit would finally put Rivers on the hot seat. And, if that does eventually happen, here are three names to track as potential replacements.