Doc Rivers met with the Philadelphia media Monday afternoon for an introduction as new head coach. Elton Brand opened the presser by saying that Rivers’ “stood out, in all categories.” Brand said the coaching search was illuminating for him to know the available talent on the market. Ultimately he said that Rivers possesses the qualities Brand was looking for to lead the Philadelphia 76ers moving forward.
“I love the pieces here; I love what we have to work with.” Said Doc Rivers on the 76ers roster. Rivers noted that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons had won 65 percent of the games they played together. Rivers demured on weighing in on specifics regarding players’ individual games, including Ben Simmons shooting. “I love coaching, I just love it, but I’m not just going to coach anybody” Doc Rivers on jumping back into coaching so soon. “For me, it’s a job you just couldn’t turn down.” What was almost immediately evident was that this is now Doc Rivers’ team.
On Ben Simmons
“Ben has proven that he can create team scoring” Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons “I’m sure there are things we will work on,” Said Rivers, who talked about team scoring versus any individual statistics. “We have to be a top 10 offense, and we weren’t last year,” Rivers said. His offensive mindset was on display early and often in the press conference. This was in sharp relief of Brett Brown, who preached defense consistently.
On Joel Embiid
“Joel is an amazing talent,” Doc Rivers on Joel Embiid. “I think Joel can do all those things, watching him on film, the last couple of days, it’s exciting,” Said Rivers. “I think he’s going to be a dominant big man for me.”
On Tobias Harris
“We put him in more pick and rolls than he’s ever been in, in his life,” Doc Rivers on Tobias Harris, who averaged 20 points per game with Rivers in Los Angeles before the trade to Philadelphia. Rivers called Harris, “A multi-positional player, you know, he’s a big three. He’s a quick four. That’s how to use them and move them back and forth to different spots.” Rivers also said that Tobias “has a great in-between game, which is sometimes lost in today’s game, and I think is a terrific straight-line driver.
On Embiid and Al Horford playing together
On Matisse Thybulle
On Shake Milton
“I told Shake, if you play like you did against us (Clippers), I don’t need to teach you anything,” Doc Rivers on Shake Milton, who scored a career-high versus the Clippers last winter.
On having a big team in a small ball era
“You have to be the best version of you and not apologize for that” Doc Rivers on the 76ers being big in a league that has tried to emulate the Golden State Warriors. Rivers said that teams wanted to play like Golden State without shooting prowess to win that way. He noted that the Lakers are in the NBA finals, and they had gotten bigger last offseason.