Doc Rivers to return as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, president Daryl Morey says

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CAMDEN, N.J. — Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey stated coach Doc Rivers will return subsequent season for a 3rd 12 months with the franchise.

“I simply assume he is an amazing coach,” Morey stated throughout Friday’s exit interviews after the Sixers have been eradicated the earlier night time on their dwelling court docket by the Miami Warmth within the Japanese Convention semifinals. “I like working with him. I really feel like I am studying from him. I believe [general manager] Elton [Brand] and I and him make an amazing crew, and we’re gonna see the place this journey takes us.

“However we really feel superb about the place it is gonna take us, and it is gonna be the place we now have an excellent probability to win the title.”

That has been the aim every of the previous two seasons in Philadelphia, since Morey arrived from the Houston Rockets and Rivers from the LA Clippers: to take this crew to stage it hasn’t reached in a technology. The 76ers have not made it previous the second spherical of the playoffs — the place they’ve now misplaced 4 occasions in 5 years — since reaching the NBA Finals in 2001.

The 76ers have not received an NBA championship since 1983.

Morey reiterated that aim when he traded Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks for James Harden on this season’s blockbuster deal on the commerce deadline.

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On Friday, Morey repeatedly stated the 76ers are wanting ahead to spending the offseason discovering methods to “unlock” Harden, who was underwhelming within the playoffs (18.6 factors, 8.6 assists), and to scrub up the match alongside famous person middle Joel Embiid.

When requested a number of occasions straight if that meant Harden has extra ranges to achieve or if followers ought to come to decrease their expectations for the previous NBA MVP transferring ahead, Morey artfully danced across the query with out answering it.

As an alternative, Morey stated he’s wanting ahead to Rivers and his workers discovering methods to make use of Harden.

“Look. He is an extremely gifted participant,” Morey stated. “Identical to Joel, identical to Tobias [Harris]. And I am excited for Doc and his workers to have an entire offseason to work with the gamers and provide you with the most effective plan for the roster we’ll have. … Having all of it come collectively in February makes it very tough to try to work out learn how to … ‘unlock’ all of the totally different abilities of the gamers and the way they will work collectively.

“Everyone knows he is a really expert participant, and we’ll work out learn how to use him.”

Morey additionally adopted up on Harden’s declaration that, as he weighs what to do along with his participant possibility this summer time, he will probably be again in Philadelphia subsequent season.

“That is the plan, is to have him again,” Morey stated. “That is been the plan because the commerce. Clearly, we now have to work along with his illustration and that’ll be between us to determine how that works.”

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General, although, it was a melancholy temper — as one would anticipate for a crew that bounced out of the playoffs within the method that it did, with two straight ugly losses to the Warmth.

“Properly, we’re sick,” Morey stated. “We’re right here as a result of we now have large aspirations. I do know our followers do as nicely. … That is why we’re right here. That is why we do that. So it is robust to be right here proper now. Nonetheless emotional.

“[But] look, we’re enthusiastic about what we will construct from right here. We predict a number of issues that we will enhance on and that is myself, that is on [Brand], that is on Coach Rivers. We will determine this out. However we really feel like there’s lots to construct on.”

Whereas Philadelphia has a powerful basis to construct upon, merely due to Embiid’s presence, there nonetheless is loads of work to be achieved. Miami star Jimmy Butler was in a position to get what he wished in opposition to the 76ers defensively on this collection, and perimeter protection was a relentless drawback all season. Depth additionally was a difficulty.

Morey stated protection was going to be a spotlight, whereas Rivers echoed Embiid’s statements that the crew wants extra toughness transferring ahead.

“Properly, I believe it is one thing that our gamers can develop,” Morey stated a couple of lack of psychological toughness being a standard theme in exit interviews with gamers. “I imply, going via losses and the way you reply to that and the way you’re taking it as your individual look within the mirror. I believe all of us must look within the mirror and say, ‘How can we every be higher?’ … And that goes for myself as nicely.”

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In the end, although, what the 76ers have achieved the previous two seasons isn’t any higher than what they did the prior three when it comes to how far they’ve managed to advance within the postseason. However advancing within the playoffs isn’t any straightforward feat, Rivers stated, and requires a studying curve from up and down a company to take action.

“As a result of successful is difficult,” Rivers stated. “You simply do not present up and also you simply say, ‘OK, guys. We’re transferring on.’ It is arduous. We’re not the one group. It is arduous to maneuver on. We had a possibility final 12 months, did not get it achieved. This 12 months was robust. I imply, clearly, with all of the accidents and stuff, so the solutions are straightforward. It is arduous. We’re proper there. We put ourselves within the argument. And that is all you are able to do. And then you definately come again and maintain working at it till you recover from the mountain.

“Milwaukee, you have a look at them, it took two or three years to recover from the mountain. That is simply the way in which it really works. It isn’t assured to anyone.”

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