Doc Rivers left the Celtics for the Clippers, but now there’s a problem: he lied about his age. This was no small matter; Doc has been around in basketball since before even Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were born. With that much time under his belt, it would have been impossible for him to deceive people so convincingly-but he did.,
The “bold faced or bald faced” is a phrase that has been used for decades. It refers to the difference between someone’s face being covered in hair, or not having any hair at all. The 76ers have had this problem for years, and it only seems like Doc Rivers’ lie about his own hair was an attempt to cover up the most glaring problem of the team.
It’s difficult to find anything bad to say about the 76ers’ new appearance right now. With James Harden in the lineup, Doc Rivers’ team is 3-0, outscoring opponents by more than 20 points per game.
This formidable lineup, though, is not without weaknesses. The Sixers can’t seem to solve their backup center problem, and Rivers’ apparent lying before Wednesday’s game against the New York Knicks just adds to the difficulty.
The 76ers have an issue with their backup center.
Doc Rivers, head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, reacts against the New York Knicks | Adam Hunger/Getty Images
The backup center position was the least of Philadelphia’s concerns for most of the 2021-22 season. Andre Drummond was outstanding in Joel Embiid’s absence, averaging 6.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game off the bench in 49 games for the squad. As a defensive rim protector, he was also more than capable.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, in the Harden deal, they had to say goodbye to Drummond, leaving them thin at center behind Embiid. Although Philadelphia has bright young players on the bench in Paul Reed and Charles Bassey, Rivers does not trust either big man to play major minutes just yet.
As a result, Paul Millsap, who was acquired in the Harden deal, has taken over as the team’s de facto backup center. That’s hardly a great answer for Philadelphia, since he’s just 6-foot-7 and has played power forward for 16 years in the league.
Millsap has only averaged 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in five games with the Sixers, and his 112 defensive rating is the lowest of his long career. Millsap isn’t the best option, but Rivers doesn’t have many others.
The bald-faced falsehood of Doc Rivers portrays a bleak picture of the center rotation.
Doc Rivers says the plan is to look into Willie Cauley-Stein a bit tonight backing up Joel Embiid #Sixers
— Ky Carlin (@Ky_Carlin) March 2, 2022
After the All-Star break, the 76ers signed former No. 6 overall selection Willie Cauley-Stein to a 10-day deal in a desperate bid to shore up the backup center position. Those ten days are nearly over, and Cauley-Stein has only played six total minutes of garbage time in the team’s three games.
Rivers told reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Knicks that he wanted to deploy Cauley-Stein as a backup to Embiid to see whether he was worth retaining. That, however, turned out to be a deception.
In place of Embiid, Millsap was the first player off the bench. With 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Sixers up by 15, Cauley-Stein joined the game. He only kept track of one statistic: a personal foul.
I’m no expert in NBA coaching, but it doesn’t seem like the ideal method to evaluate a potential backup. In three days, Cauley-Stein will most likely be packing his belongings, and the 76ers will be back at square one.
DeAndre Jordan is the apparent answer to the 76ers’ most pressing issue.
Following DeAndre Jordan’s release by the Los Angeles Lakers, the Sixers are said to be the frontrunners to sign the veteran center. I was first suspicious of the proposal, but Philly may have no other option.
Jordan spent five years with Rivers’ Los Angeles Clippers. He also played with Harden on the Brooklyn Nets last season, so he’d be acquainted with the club right away if he joined. Jordan would be a much better option at center if Rivers continues to use Millsap in front of Reed and Bassey.
Jordan may be limited at this stage in his career, but he’s still a lethal alley-oop threat who would complement Harden well when Embiid needs a break. Plus, he’d be able to hold his own against larger centers who can eat Millsap alive on defense.
Daryl Morey, make the call. It’s the last remaining option.
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Doc Rivers Has Been a Fan of the Sixers Culture Since James Harden’s Trade
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