Miami win shows why Nick Nurse is needed by 76ers

(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 07: Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the first half against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on April 7, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Did the Philadelphia 76ers have a coaching advantage against Celtics?

The top priority for any coach should be that his team is ready to compete from the opening tip. The Celtics certainly were not in Game 1 as an Embiid-less Sixers squad won in Boston.

Mazzulla had some strategic errors in the following games that helped the Sixers take a 3-2 lead. Mazzulla made a simple lineup change for Game 6, starting center Robert Williams instead of guard Derrick White.

We know the sad story after that. The Sixers held a two-point lead with 5:32 remaining in Game 6 and then fell apart offensively. In Game 7, they simply got blown out.

Did Doc Rivers get outcoached, or did Joel Embiid and James Harden simply play lousy and there was nothing he could do about it?

Obviously, general manager Daryl Morey thought Rivers held some blame, as he fired him a couple of days later.

Did Rivers get out-coached? Probably not in terms of Xs & Os, but he did not have his team ready when it needed to be the most and his best players did not rise to the occasion.

After letting Game 6 slip through their fingers, the Miami Heat under Spoelstra did not pout but came back and wallopped an unprepared Celtics team in Game 7.

After blowing Game 7, the Sixers allowed Boston to steamroll them in Game 7. Is that on Doc Rivers?