Sixers head coach Doc Rivers finds himself in a pivotal moment as his side prepare for their crucial Game 7 encounter against the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
According to a recent column by NBA insider Marc Stein, Rivers’ role as head coach could be in jeopardy if the Sixers fail to secure a victory in Boston.
“There have also been recent murmurs, mind you, that Rivers’ status could become precarious in this climate if the 76ers fail to win their Game 7 in Boston later Sunday after the Sixers took a 3-2 series lead and then failed to close the Celtics out at home in Game 6,” Stein wrote.
Of course, the Celtics beating the Sixers in seven wouldn’t be a disaster in most scenarios as most would expect Boston to win the series given recent history. However, this is the Sixers’ best opportunity to end their wretched run against the Celtics after an impressive Game 5 win saw them take a 3-2 lead in the series.
With Game 6 taking place at home, the Sixers could have ended the series on Thursday. However, Jayson Tatum came alive in the last seven minutes and helped Boston to a 95-86 victory as many Sixers stars went missing late on.
And so, Game 7 in Boston is a must-win game for Philly to not only advance to a first Conference Finals since 2001, but for Rivers to potentially keep his job.
His history of failing to close out multiple playoff series doesn’t help his case either. He holds a 17-32 record in such games, in addition to a 6-9 record in Game 7s — carrying the unenviable distinction of having the most Game 7 losses of any coach in NBA history.
Additionally, Rivers has never won a Game 7 on the road which means MVP Joel Embiid and company will have plenty on their plate if they are to advance to the next round.
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