Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas Praises 76ers’ Doc Rivers For Playing Through Joel Embiid

Published 01/28/2021, 1:11 AM EST
Jan 22, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) celebrates after making a three point shot against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


The Philadelphia 76ers embarked on “The Process” for years with former coach Brett Brown. But after seven years of no success, he was fired. They replaced him with Doc Rivers, who has had a fantastic start to his stint. He has used Joel Embiid as his primary option, and so far, it is paying dividends.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas was also impressed with how Rivers is getting the best out of the team through this style of play.

He said, “For so many years watching Philadelphia play, we never knew if they’re going to play through Ben or Embiid. You can see they’re playing through Embiid and he is delivering. That opens up everything for the perimeter players. You got Harris and Danny Green, who can knock down a three but also lets Simmons be the playmaker that he’s allowed to be… Doc Rivers has found a way for Philadelphia to play. It’s not up and down shooting the three, it’s their style of basketball and Embiid is flourishing under this style.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Will playing through Joel Embiid deliver a title for the 76ers?

The last time a team won the NBA title led by a big man was in 2011. The Dallas Mavericks, led by Dirk Nowitzki, had one of the best postseason campaigns to win their first-ever NBA title. This 76ers team is more talented and has more depth than Nowitzki’s 2011 team.

But the 76ers need to carry their current momentum into the postseason as well. Tonight, they had their best game of the season, as they beat the Lakers by one point. Embiid had a big game scoring 28 points. He had 13 free throw attempts, which shows that the Lakers had a tough time dealing with him in the paint.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In the 15 games that Embiid has played, the 76ers have lost just twice. He is repaying the faith shown in him and is playing like an MVP candidate. If the 76ers finish as the number one seed in the East, he could potentially win the award which would make him the first 76er since Allen Iverson to win an MVP.

DIVE DEEPER

76ers’ Joel Embiid Calls Out NBA Officials for Not Ejecting LeBron James After a ‘Very Dangerous’ Play

6 months ago

Jan 27, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) celebrates with guard Ben Simmons (25) and center Joel Embiid (21) after scoring the game winning basket during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

But Embiid’s focus will solely be on the title, and not individual awards. They haven’t won a title since 1983, and Embiid and co will be eager to put an end to this drought.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories