NBA

No one will feel sorry for depleted 76ers, says Rivers

By Sports Desk January 12, 2021

Doc Rivers said "nobody's going to feel sorry for us" after the depleted Philadelphia 76ers went down to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

The Sixers used nine players in the 112-94 defeat, two more than they had available in the 115-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Ben Simmons (left knee) was again absent, while Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier were left out due to COVID-19 protocols. Seth Curry had also tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.

For head coach Rivers there are no excuses and he expects plenty of teams to struggle during an unusual NBA season.

"Nobody's going to feel sorry for us. We've got to try to win these games," Rivers said. 

"We're in a tough spot with COVID - not a lot we can do with it. I have a sneaking feeling that there's going to be a lot of teams with this problem. 

"Right now, we're getting hit with it, which is unfortunate for us. It's unfortunate it happened when we had four games in [six] days. 

"It's like the timing of this couldn't have been any worse at all."

Simmons' absence for the Denver game led to the 76ers receiving a $25,000 fine for violating the NBA's injury reporting rules.

Rivers added of Simmons: "We thought it'd be one game and now it's two."

Joel Embiid had 24 points and 11 rebounds after recovering from back tightness.

He played 23 minutes and Rivers explained why Embiid did not spend more time on the court.

"You give yourself a shot, and then as a coach, you've got to assess," he added. 

"Even at half-time for me, I saw what the score was and I didn't think there was much of a chance of us winning that game. 

"My assessment was get everybody out as soon as I could, and you start thinking about the next game." 

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