For the third consecutive postseason, the Philadelphia 76ers have lost in the second round under head coach Doc Rivers. He’s improved the team’s record each year since he was hired after the 2020 season. However, the ending to this year’s playoffs may have been the last straw. Rivers is 17-33 in games with a chance to clinch the series, the most of any coach in NBA history.
The blame for Philadelphia’s loss in Game 7 yesterday cannot all be put on Doc Rivers. As the head coach, you can only do so much to have your team prepared. Ultimately, it was up to the players to match Boston’s intensity and the Sixers failed to do that in the second half.
After Game 7, Doc Rivers was asked if he plans on coaching the team next season. His response was “Yeah”… “I think I have two years left”.
Doc Rivers is now 17-33 (34%) straight up with a chance to clinch a series.
The 33 losses is the most of any coach in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/MEabeQ0vlQ
— Evan Abrams (@EvanHAbrams) May 14, 2023
Doc Rivers has once again blown a 3-2 series lead in the playoffs
The stat above can be a bit misleading. It shows that Doc Rivers has the most blown series leads of any coach in NBA history. In his coaching career, he now has blown a 3-2 series lead four times. As a team, the Sixers were awful in Game 7 and that could have been Rivers’ last game as Philadelphia’s head coach.
After their 112-88 Game 7 loss, James Harden said his relationship with head coach Doc Rivers is “OK”. Harden has the chance to opt out of the second year of a two-year contract for next season. If he does so he will become a free agent and the Sixers will lose a key piece of their franchise.
Now, the Sixers have to make some crucial offseason decisions. Just this offseason alone we’ve seen Nick Nurse, Mike Budenholzer, and Monty Williams all fired as head coaches. Two of those three have won an NBA Championship within the last five seasons. All have made the NBA Finals in the last five seasons as well. Rivers has not done any of those things as head coach of the 76ers.