Tyrese Maxey, Joel Embiid
#0 Tyrese Maxey (left) and #21 Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. Keith Pompey/Twitter


  • The Philadelphia 76ers fell victim to Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics in Game 7
  • Head coach Doc Rivers might also be fired by the Sixers after another exit
  • The clock is ticking even louder for James Harden and Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers were one of the frontrunners for the 2022-23 NBA title after putting together a decent roster built around their core of Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, and the belief grew of a possible NBA Finals after going up 3-2 on the Boston Celtics.

Game 6 was supposed to be the closeout after Jayson Tatum only logged three points throughout the first three quarters, while the Sixers entered the final frame with a three-point lead.

However, a 16-point explosion that featured four three-pointers and four free throws from Tatum forced an improbable Game 7 and the Celtics star dropped a record-setting 51 points to boot out the Sixers in the second round.

The Sixers enter the offseason with a lot more questions than answers as fans believed that they had the right pieces, but for some reason, it has not translated to anything good and the belief now is that head coach Doc Rivers may be on the way out.

In the 2021 playoffs, he and the Sixers had an excuse in the form of Ben Simmons passing up on an easy shot under the rim against the Atlanta Hawks.

Last season, they ran into a Jimmy Butler-sized obstacle against the Miami Heat.

Rivers letting another series slip away from him has been used against him to criticize his ability as a coach and their elimination to the Celtics in seven games marked the 10th time Rivers has failed to advance when entering a Game 7 situation.

Furthermore, teams under his guidance have gone 6-16 when entering closeout situations.

Rivers said in the postgame press conference that he expects to be back on the Philadelphia sideline since he still has two years left on his deal, but this season has seen a lot of head coaches fired.

Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams were let go by the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns respectively after disappointing playoff exits and it would not be all that surprising if Rivers joins them soon enough.

As for the roster, Harden enters the summer with a player option worth $35.6 million, and the 34-year-old guard is expected to opt-in and run it back with Embiid and Maxey.

With regards to Embiid, this season's NBA MVP will hear a lot more criticism from the fans after putting up an abysmal performance in Game 7, ending the game at just 15 points and eight rebounds while only making 27.8 percent of his shots from the field.

The majority of the blame can certainly be placed on the shoulders of Embiid, Harden and Rivers as they are the main components of the Sixers, but it does raise the question of what else the team needs to get over the hump finally.

Getting another superstar would be a difficult ask of the Sixers' front office due to their lack of assets, and their best solution is to play it smart in the free-agency market.

How they do it will unfold after the playoffs, but they have to make it quick as frustration continues to build in "The City of Brotherly Love."

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers
#1 James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers ESPN Stats & Info/Twitter