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Home > Who Is the Problem In Philadelphia?

Who Is the Problem In Philadelphia?

Publish Date:May 31, 2023
Fact checked by: Chris A

Who Is the Problem In Philadelphia

The Philadelphia 76ers have been one of the most disappointing franchises in the NBA over the past few seasons. For nearly half a decade, the team has been championship contenders, however, they still have yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs with Joel Embiid on the team.

It is clear that some big changes need to be made soon. Embiid has developed into a league MVP, however, the team is still unable of making a Conference Finals appearance. There are three people within the organization that deserve to take the majority of the blame for the recent shortcoming in the postseason.

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Doc Rivers

It is clear that the 76ers organization believes that Doc Rivers was the issue in recent years. He has spent the past three seasons as the head coach of the team and coached them to a regular season record of 154-82.

Rivers is one of the most highly esteemed coaches in the league, and in terms of win percentage through the regular season, he had done his best work with the 76ers, however, he was unable to get his team to reach the next gear in the postseason.

After being bounced in the second round by the Boston Celtics, Rivers is now on the coaching carousel looking for his next opportunity to lead a team to his second ring as a coach.

James Harden

James Harden has caught a large amount of flak due to his playoff performances during his time with the 76ers. Through the regular season in his two seasons with Philadelphia, The Beard has averaged 21.0 points, 10.6 assists, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while shooting 43.1% from the field and 37.0% from three.

In the postseason, his averages drop to 19.4 points, 8.4 assists, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 39.9% from the field and 37.3% from three. There are rumblings that Harden will be leaving the team in free agency this offseason after taking a pay cut on his last deal to give the 76ers front office more cap space to work with to build a championship-caliber team around Embiid and him.

Joel Embiid

Shockingly, Joel Embiid also has a case for the blame to be placed on his shoulders for the 76ers’ shortcomings in the postseason. Despite being one of the best players in the league, Embiid struggles to carry over his regular season success to the playoffs.

While he has gotten labeled as a “playoff choker” there may be more to it than just being unable to perform when the lights are the brightest. By the time the postseason rolls around, Embiid is typically not healthy. While there is rarely any star player playing 100% healthy in the postseason, in the past two seasons, Embiid has missed four of the 76ers’ seventeen playoff games.

Along with this, his per-game averages have taken a big hit when comparing the postseason to the regular season. In the regular season over the past two years, Embiid has averaged 31.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 55.9% from the field and 35.3% from three. However, in the playoffs, his numbers drop to 22.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.6 steals, and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 43.0% from the field and 20.0% from three.

With Embiid being one of the most talented players in the league and the clear first option in Philadelphia, when his level of play drops this drastically when the games matter the most, it leaves the team in a terrible spot.

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