The Philadelphia 76ers have had a complex NBA season, going through the calendar without Ben Simmons and losing more pieces to injuries and health and safety protocols. This has obviously hurt their chances to rank higher in the Eastern Conference, but they know they're getting there.
Nobody around the league is at full strength right now, and Doc Rivers value every win his team can get. That's why he went off on a reporter after they implied that the Sixers should have won by more points.
During the post-game conference, Rivers went at it with Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey after he asked Rivers if he was satisfied with the victory. This meant the Sixers should have won by a larger margin against a struggling team. Rivers explained that they lost games by minimum margins and nobody asked the Sixers anything about it. Following a 5-point win over the undermanned Toronto Raptors, Rivers explained (via Heavy):
“It’s funny, when we were undermanned and won a couple games and we had close games that we lost, I didn’t hear that in reverse. This is the NBA, Keith, like think about that stretch when we had all those guys out and we lost four or five games by one point, three points. You think their coach was worried that they won by one or three points? These guys play hard, man, every single guy in this league can play.
“So I don’t sit back and judge like well we didn’t win by 10 tonight, or 12 tonight. We won the game and that locker room in there, they’re happy. They’re not sitting back like ‘Man, we should have won by 20.’ No, you shouldn’t of. You should have won by exactly as many as you won by.”
After that, Keith said Rivers was being emotional and the head coach didn't hold anything back, calling his initial question dumb and letting Pompey know he wasn't messing around.
“No, I’m not [getting emotional] at all. I’m just miffed by the question,” Rivers said. “It tells me clearly you didn’t play enough [basketball]. You gotta understand that, like if you win a game, Keith, you’re happy. My point is, I didn’t hear you asking about losing those close games.
“What do you think, are you happy about the loss because you were close with an undermanned team? No, it’s not the same thing. My point is, Keith, it’s a dumb a** question. I just think it’s like a silly question, I really do. We won a game and you’re trying to take steam away from it. I think that’s silly.”
Rivers is a very outspoken coach. Let's not forget he sent Ben Simmons home after the player refused to participate in a drill during training camp. Doc isn't holding anything back and if somebody dares to question his team, he'll be ready to fire back.
The Sixers currently rank 6th in the East with an 18-16 record, showing that they fight hard no matter what. Hopefully, they can have a fully healthy team to face the remainder of the season. Even without Simmons, the Sixers should be a solid team in the East, and his recent performances are big proof of that.