Joel Embiid tosses shade at Doc Rivers over strategy vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo in Sixers loss to Bucks
The Philadelphia 76ers are in a packed race for the Eastern Conference’s top seed. They can hardly afford to lose, especially against the other three teams in the race. Unfortunately for the Sixers, they did just that against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Sixers’ 118-116 loss to the Bucks pushed them back to fourth place in the conference. While Joel Embiid had a monster game with 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists and James Harden contributed 32 points and nine assists, Giannis Antetokounmpo stole the show with 40 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
Embiid laid his thoughts out regarding head coach Doc Rivers’ decision to leave him on the bench at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth quarter while Antetokounmpo scored 15 straight points. The Greek Freak’s outburst kickstarted a 37-point fourth quarter f0r Milwaukee that allowed them to take the win.
Embiid on the stretch that he thought changed the game: "Their best player scored 17 in a row or whatever that was, I didn't think we did what we had to do." pic.twitter.com/LVqdcY8tmq
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) March 30, 2022
Rivers has a reputation as a coach who hardly wavers from his game plan. His rotation decision in the Sixers’ loss to the Bucks may have cost them the game. They had a hard time containing Antetokounmpo with Embiid on the bench. Putting him in a little bit early to curb the run could have got Philadelphia into a winning position as the game went on. Instead, they took the loss and admitted they have work to do in late-game situations.
Although Rivers is likely thinking ahead and saving Embiid for the playoffs, letting him get a few extra minutes in a game like this was the correct call. A game like this could have major implications in the standings, and therefore, the playoffs. In a game that came down to the last play, the Sixers will regret letting this one slip away.