Doc Rivers Sticking With Deandre Jordan Until Embiid Returns


Despite a decisive 14-point loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1, it does not sound like Doc Rivers will be making any changes to the starting center position while Joel Embiid is out due to injury.

The Philadelphia 76ers head coach made the interesting decision to start Deandre Jordan in Game 1, a move that did not pay off in the slightest. 

In 17 minutes of action, Jordan finished with an incredibly rough stat line of 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 0 assists.

Even more telling was Jordan's plus/minus, as he finished with a -22, which meant that the Sixers were actually a +8 as a team when Jordan was sitting on the bench, which goes to show how detrimental he was in his 17 minutes on the floor in Game 1.

And so, with Jordan being one of the more noticeable reasons why the 76ers lost in double digits to a Heat team that is also banged up with injuries, clearly Doc Rivers would look to make a roster change and try someone new in the starting center role, right?

Well, according to Rivers himself, it appears he will continue to implement Jordan in the starting lineup until Embiid returns.


The continued use of this strategy by Rivers is puzzling to say the least, especially when he has other options that he could be trying out.

The first option being Paul Reed, a second year player who has played reserve center minutes for the Sixers at times throughout the regular season. 

Despite playing fewer minutes than Deandre Jordan, Reed was a much more productive and impactful player than Jordan, especially when it came to rebounding, as Reed snatched up an impressive 9 rebounds in only 13 minutes of action. 

The other option for the Sixers would be going without a center entirely, and starting a small ball lineup in the hopes of beating the Heat with their athleticism and solid perimeter shooting.

The Miami Heat's All-Star center, Bam Adebayo, is definitely a force in the paint, but he is also undersized at the center position, which means the Sixers could potentially get away with putting someone like Tobias Harris, who is a strong and physical defender, on Adebayo.

The alternatives are definitely there, and with Jordan playing like a shell of his former self, perhaps Rivers should be re-evaluating his own stubborn stance on the matter.

But, who knows? Perhaps Deandre Jordan surprises in Game 2 and turns back the clock for a vintage Deandre Jordan performance. 

At the end of the day though, whether it be Deandre Jordan or someone else, it's clear that nobody on this roster can fill the massive shoes of a potential MVP winner in Joel Embiid. 

And if the Sixers have any hopes of making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, they better hope that they can have Embiid back on the court sooner than later. 

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