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Sixers Future After Game 7 Rout

14 days ago

As the Philadelphia 76ers season came to a devastating end, after being routed in the second round of the playoffs by the rival Boston Celtics, the team must embrace a new direction as the team tries to find a way towards an NBA championship. With many important questions facing the franchise, an uncertain future faces Philadelphia.

What to do with Doc Rivers

The first question that must be answered is what to do with head coach Doc Rivers. When Rivers took over following the ouster of Brett Brown, the team hoped that Rivers’ winning track record would help signal the end of the process.

Instead, it has largely been a mixed bag under the former NBA champion coach. Since taking over, Rivers has won the Metropolitan Division once while being eliminated in the second round all three seasons. Fans have been quick to point out his lack of adjustments and his lack of ability to put games away in the second half.

Furthermore, there have been some questions regarding player development for the franchise. Yes, Joel Embiid has just won an MVP but the failures of Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris have further complicated the roster.

With coaches including Nick Nurse and Mike Budenholzer already fired this offseason, Rivers could become the next former championship winner on the unemployment line.

The James Harden Situation

For the 76ers to actually take a step forward next season, the team needs James Harden to opt out of his contract. Rumors have swirled about a potential return to Houston, and if the former MVP does opt out, Philly would be wise to let him go.

Harden came to Philadelphia by way of the Nets in the infamous Ben Simmons deal. The Nets thought they were getting a dynamic driver to pair with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant while Philly saw Harden taking pressure off of Embiid.

Instead, both teams have to feel let down with the trade. While the Nets have completely blown up, Harden is merely a shell of his former self. In Game 7, Harden put up a lackluster 9 points. Additionally, a dumb flagrant foul helped Boston battle back from an early deficit.

On a play where Harden should have had a relatively easy layup, he instead lost the ball and intentionally hit Jaylen Brown in the face. The play motivated the Celtics and their fans, and shortly after, the route was on.

Roster Construction

Finally, the 76ers have to really take a look at their roster and determine who they can add to surround Embiid, or risk losing him. Tobias Harris enters his final year of his brutal contract. With Harden potentially out the door, the team should have enough money on-hand to make a splash.

Outside of finding another star, the team also needs to start finding players to actually help win games. With Harden and Embiid struggling in Game 7, the team struggled to find scoring. Tyrese Maxey continues to grow and PJ Tucker is more known for when he does score.

However, the team doesn’t posses much of a scoring threat on the bench. The team traded for Jalen McDaniels at the trade deadline, just for him to not play during the series. The team needed to add talent at the deadline and clearly didn’t. Heading into a critical off-season, the team once again needs to find a reason to keep Embiid around.

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