Here in Philly, we pay very close attention to our sports teams. We tend to be a little short tempered but at the end of the day, we are blatantly honest. For as highly critical as fans can be of the team and their head coaches, it’s equally important for us to give credit where credit is due. Doc Rivers deserves as much credit as Joel Embiid for where the Sixers are thus far.

In an offseason highlighted by the additions of Seth Curry, Danny Green, and Dwight Howard, Rivers has been by far the biggest upgrade on the floor from this past offseason.

The team plays for Rivers, night in and night out which Sixers fans didn’t see this time last year and the majority of the Brett Brown tenure. Brett Brown was a good coach for the time period he was hired, but for a team now through a rebuild and ready to win, Doc Rivers is just what the doctor ordered.

“The Process” Sixers were fun, make no doubt about it, but this team led by Rivers is a different type of fun.

Brown was touted to be great at developing young players, and extremely likable in the locker room which ironically ended up being his biggest downfall in Philadelphia.

Rivers is also a good locker room coach, he is good at developing players, but he also holds the team accountable which is something that was lost in Brown’s coaching style. Fans clamored for years to see Brown gone for that exact reason. Rivers is holding the team accountable which is a major reason why the Sixers rarely blow leads and are a lot more disciplined in late-game situations.

Coaching in the NBA is different than in other leagues, the team is so closely knit due to the low number of players on the active roster. This closeness leads to things getting a little too intimate which was believed to be the biggest problem with Brown.

Not only from an accountability standpoint but from an X’s and O’s standpoint, Rivers is twice the coach that Brown was.

With the Sixers currently down 40% of their starting 5 including their team MVP, Rivers has stepped up and proved his worth. The team sits at 29-13 with the second best record in the entire NBA and that has been largely due to the Doc Rivers effect. Joel Embiid being more dominant than ever and Ben Simmons being more aggressive with the ball in his hands can be traced back to Rivers and the coaching staff he has put together including assistant coach Sam Cassell.

The city has seen so many great Doc’s, Dr. J, Doc Halladay, and now Doc Rivers. Coach, you’ve earned it, you can keep the nickname.


Photo via Chris Szagola/Associated Press (Bleacher Report)

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