"Doc Rivers and James Harden Eye Upcoming Decisions After Another Second Round Exit for Philadelphia 76ers"
The Philadelphia 76ers lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals for a third year in a row, falling to the Boston Celtics 112-88 in Game 7. Sixers coach Doc Rivers said he intends to return for the next two years, although star guard James Harden said he hadn't begun to think about his decision to opt into his contract for next season or become a free agent. Joel Embiid, last season's MVP, praised Rivers but said the coaching business is a tough one.
The 76ers had hoped this year's MVP award to Embiid would propel them past Boston in the playoffs. It was not meant to be, however, as they faced a 26-point deficit after the third quarter of Game 7. "We played great all year," said Rivers, "and this loss absolutely diminishes that." Harden, who shot 12-for-55 across the four losses to Boston and 37-for-61 in the team's three victories, expressed hope for a chance to compete next season.
In response to their latest playoff disappointment, Rivers said the 76ers would "think about the missed opportunities" this summer. "As far as our guys fight, against everybody who picked against us, they didn't care," he said. "They thought they could still win this series. And that's something good about our team."