Doc Rivers Rips 76ers’ Defensive Effort In Loss To Celtics

Rivers wasn't pleased at all


Feb 8, 2023

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers was disgusted with how his team played against the shorthanded Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

The Celtics were without four starters by halftime as Jaylen Brown left in the second quarter due to a facial fracture, but the 76ers couldn’t take advantage as their abysmal defensive effort really irritated Rivers.

Rivers voiced his frustrations about it following the 106-99 loss at TD Garden, first taking aim at Philadelphia’s offense before ripping the defensive performance.

“Listen, I don’t care what anyone did offensively, tonight, honestly,” Rivers told reporters, as seen on NBC Sports Boston postgame coverage. “We scored because we were individually good. We didn’t score as a team tonight. We didn’t play as a team offensively. And then defensively, we were worse.”

Even with Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla trotting out odd lineups and even starting Blake Griffin, Boston shot a season-high 54.3% (19-for-35) from beyond the arc.

The 76ers were certainly willing to give the Celtics the long-range shots, especially Griffin, who came into the contest having seen game action in only five of Boston’s last 15 games. Griffin made the 76ers pay by hitting five 3-pointers, including three within the first four minutes of the game, en route to 15 points.

Grant Williams and Sam Hauser also hit four triples apiece as Rivers couldn’t believe the space the 76ers’ gave to Boston’s shooters.

“I could have made some of those threes. Well, maybe not me. I was a poor shooter. Someone in this room could have made those threes,” Rivers said. “They were pretty much wide open. We gave a lot of dare shots tonight all the way through the game. A lot of shots were we just dared guys to shoot them and they shot them and they made them. Give them credit, you still got to make them and they did.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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