Unless you have been living under a rock, the Philadelphia Phillies are in the World Series. After a rough start under Joe Girardi, the Phillies fired him taking a clear stance that this type of play is unacceptable.
The Phillies named long-time bench coach Rob Thomson interim manager to fill in for Girardi for the rest of the year, and the Phillies exploded. They would go 65-46 under Thomson for the remainder of the regular season clinching their first playoff berth since 2011, but it wouldn’t stop there. The bottom seed Phillies would go on to upset three different teams on their way to the World Series.
The Phillies were a talented team under Girardi but we’re clearly underperforming with the wrong guy at the helm. The team took it upon themselves to fire Girardi and cut ties with the former World Series winning manager to set a precedent in the clubhouse that losing will not be tolerated.
Does that sound familiar?
The Sixers have a ton of talent and are clearly underperforming under their former championship winning coach. Doc Rivers has seemingly been on the hot seat since the day he took the job in Philadelphia but now more than ever. Rivers was brought in to help the Sixers advance past the second round of the playoffs similar to how Girardi was brought in to lead the Phillies back to the playoffs. Girardi failed to do that in his first two years with the team and was let go a quarter of the way through his third season. Rivers has failed to advance the Sixers past the second round in his first two seasons, will he see the same fate as Girardi?
The Sixers have clear expectations, and it almost seems as though the regular season doesn’t really matter anymore. The vibe around the city right now is one of “wake me up when they get to the playoffs”. It is clear the Sixers are a top-eight team in the Eastern Conference but are they good enough to actually go on a run? Likely not under Rivers.
Sam Cassell is waiting in the wings, similar to Rob Thomson. Cassell began to get attention around the league this offseason specifically from the Utah Jazz, where Cassell interviewed and ultimately did not get the job. The Sixers must make a decision if Rivers is the guy to lead this team before they lose Cassell for good.
The Sixers have scuffled a bit out the gate as they’re off to a 3-4 start. Joel Embiid hasn’t been himself and the offense has seemed a bit out of sync. Pairing that with mediocre defense, we can see that the Sixers seem to be going through the motions thus far. If things don’t start to turn around in the next couple of weeks or months Doc Rivers could legitimately be on the hot seat.
A change at the helm worked for one team in this city, why not see if it works again?
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