The Philadelphia 76ers’ season came to end in Game 6 in a nine-point loss to the Miami Heat.
Throughout the game, the Sixers looked lifeless and there was a point where Doc Rivers implored the team to “fight for this” but it didn’t matter in the end.
While the deck was stacked against them with Joel Embiid and Danny Green’s injuries, the Sixers still had a fighting chance. Strangely enough, James Harden only attempted two shots in the second half and scored no points. The team acquired him to help shoulder the scoring load, so seeing him so hesitant with his shot was a shocking sight for fans and media alike.
It was so bizarre that ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said the star guard should be investigated for his performance, and he even implied it might’ve been done on purpose to get Doc Rivers fired.
Stephen A. Senses Something
Immediately after the game, Smith went in on James Harden and he didn’t hold anything back.
“That performance by James Harden requires an investigation,” he began. “How in God’s do you go 22 minutes in the second half and attempt one shot? It was a horrific performance. Anemic and impotent performance by James Harden. And I’m really interested in seeing what the Philadelphia 76ers are going to do with Doc Rivers because I smell something, and it don’t smell right.”
While the Sixers haven’t openly talked about Rivers’ job security, the belief is that he’s on the hot seat after failing to get past the second round with Embiid and Harden. Trading away Ben Simmons for Harden was meant to create a championship team, but Embiid’s costly injury pretty much destroyed any chance of that.
It’s no secret that Harden isn’t the same Harden he was while he was a member of the Rockets, but his decline has been much more rapid than expected. He’s going to opt into another year with his player option, but the team will now have to think long and hard about whether it’s worth it or not to hand out a big extension.
As of right now, the biggest question looming is whether or not Doc Rivers will return to coach another season for the Sixers. He’s been linked to the opening with the Los Angeles Lakers, and with Smith suggesting Harden possibly threw a game to get Rivers fired, it’s looking more like he could have another shot in LA.
If Rivers were to be fired, it doesn’t seem like he’d be out of a job for long, and Kendrick Perkins hopes it happens so he could go coach the Lakers.
“I hope Doc do get fired!!! He need to be in LA with that Lakers at least he knows the Point/Foward Lebron James is going to be in shape and actually compete. Get him AWAY from Harden please. Carry the hell on…” he tweeted.
A once promising season for the Sixers ended in disaster, so it’ll be an important offseason for them if they want to win a championship with Joel Embiid as the centerpiece.