Doc Rivers wants Sixers to kick foul-chasing habit ahead of playoffs

The Philadelphia 76ers have two stars who not only know how to score at a high pace, but they also know how to generate points by regularly reaching the free throw line.

While getting constantly fouled and knocked down free throws at a high rate is certainly not a negative quality for Joel Embiid and James Harden, the two superstars often have a habit of relying on getting to the line.

When the whistles sound, it’s a good thing for the Sixers. However, when the referees remain silent, more often than not, Embiid and Harden might not be able to break the habit of chasing fouls, which sometimes leads to wasted possessions.

After Sunday night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns, Sixers goaltender James Harden mentioned that part of his struggles in that game may have to do with some fouls that went uncalled.

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Although Doc Rivers agreed that there were missed calls, he also acknowledged that some questionable misses were not fouls. Either way, as the NBA playoffs draw closer, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers understands defenses will have the ability to get away with more, which will make it harder for Embiid. and Harden to reach the line.

Therefore, Rivers wants the Sixers to focus on scoring without relying on getting to the line.

“I thought some of them were fouls, some weren’t,” Rivers said after Sunday’s loss. “I think we as a team have to adapt; they can appeal now in the regular season, but as it gets closer you know those fouls go away anyway. So we have to go score at every time. “

The Sixers have eight games to settle before reaching the playoffs next month. Although Sunday’s loss was disappointing, given the Sixers lost a double-digit lead and failed to complete the stretch, they are still in good shape for the playoffs – they just have to keep working. to improve their chemistry on the pitch and smooth out a few wrinkles.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.

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