Kendrick Perkins Claims Sixers Need ‘Coming to Jesus Meeting’

Kendrick Perkins, Doc Rivers

Getty Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins attend the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game during the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend at Wolstein Center on February 18, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Everyone from the national media to local beat reporters to the everyday fan seems to have some level of concern for the performance of the Philadelphia 76ers to start the season. Kendrick Perkins has been the latest media personality to take a strong stance. While on NBA Today on ESPN, Perk gave a strong statement about the state of the Sixers and Doc Rivers’ management on the team.

His most notable advice was about how Rivers needs to step in and help squash the chemistry issues. As Perkins put it, “Right now they have a chemistry problem and I think Doc (Rivers) has to tighten up and have one of those ‘coming to Jesus’ meetings he used to have with us when he used to go down and explain roles and explain sacrificing and explain losing yourself in the team.”

Perkins’ Time With Rivers

As the media personality referenced, he spent time under Rivers during his playing career. This was during each of the guys’ time with the Boston Celtics. Perkins was traded to the Celtics during the 2003 NBA Draft while Rivers was hired as head coach the following year. They spent seven seasons together, including winning the 2008 championship before Perkins was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This championship pedigree has been the biggest selling point for Rivers as a head coach throughout his career. The former NBA Coach of the Year referenced how the situation in Philadelphia is somewhat similar to what he dealt with in Boston due to the mixing of personalities. Rivers broke down the importance of sacrificing on the Netflix docuseries ‘The Playbook.’

As Rivers put it, “The concern was that all three were leaders. I told them, if we’re going to win, we’re going to have to sacrifice. You’re going to have to change . . . That was the challenge: getting them to buy into being a team.” This blend of personalities and willingness of the big start to make this sacrifice has been given a great deal of credit by Rivers. While he accomplished it with the Celtics, there still looks to be some work to do with this Sixers team.

Sixers Chemistry Issues

Perkins is not the first person to take note of the Sixers’ on-court chemistry issues. While the franchise has taken strides to seemingly improve this, the effects have not been seen. Rivers attributed the decision to take training camp down to Charleston to help with team-building. James Harden also helped organize some offseason workouts in Los Angeles in which a good portion of the team made the trip.

This has not translated into on-court success for the Sixers. Some of this is attributed to the Sixers’ tendency to lean too heavily on isolation sets on offense. Through the opening five games, the Sixers rank second in the NBA in isolation frequency at 12.8%. In fairness, they are producing at a high level in these sets with 1.52 points per possession in isolation and a 73.1% effective field goal percentage. Both of these numbers are incredibly elite figures and they even rank in the 100th percentile in this production.

However, the lack of movement and creativity is much more of a long-term concern. The isolation brand of basketball may be bringing on short-term production, but it is problematic from a team-building aspect and this number could drastically dip if Harden and Embiid get cold. The Sixers rank currently 10th in offensive efficiency. While this is a solid number, it still is not as great as it should be considering the premiere offensive talents that Embiid, Harden, and Tyrese Maxey are. The bulk of the Sixers’ struggles still falls on the defensive end regarding the losses they have picked up.

As much as there are a million different tactical adjustments that can be called for, getting the Sixers on the same page must be priority number one. Embiid has stated how the Sixers have no time to waste and need to figure this out as soon as possible. There are still 77 games left to play, but hopefully, Rivers digs into his tricks and finds a way to right the ship before things get darker just as Perkins suggested.

Read More