Coach Doc Rivers didn’t have much of a reaction on the news on Sunday that 76ers center Joel Embiid was fined $35,000 by the NBA for his involvement in a late-game situation in the Sixers’ 104-99 win on Friday during Game 6 in Atlanta.
“It is what it is,” Rivers said before Sunday’s decisive game. “I don’t have much of a reaction. I just hope the money goes to a Philadelphia charity.”
Late in the fourth quarter, Embiid and Collins had to be separated. Embiid was called for an offensive foul while appearing to score a basket on Collins in the paint with 4 minutes, 2 seconds remaining.
After both players fell to the floor, with Embiid falling on top of Collins, Collins shoved Embiid off him and began yapping at Embiid. The players got up and Embiid took steps toward the Hawks’ power forward. Embiid, while extending his arms, forced Collins off the court and to the side of the basketball stanchion. Both players received technicals.
The NBA stated that the fine came for “escalating the on-court altercation by pursuing Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins in an unsportsmanlike manner, and failing to comply with an NBA security interview following an on-court incident.”
In addition, the Hawks’ Bruno Fernando was suspended for Game 7 without pay for leaving the bench area during the altercation.
Fernando has been a non-factor, averaging just 1.2 minutes in two appearances this series.
“That’s the rule as far as guys leaving the bench,” Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said before the game. “We didn’t do a good job of keeping our guys off the floor in that situation and so that’s the rule. As far as the Embiid fine, I have no comment.”
Game 7 info
Both teams have several players who have played in a Game 7 entering Sunday’s game.
The most recent Game 7 for the Sixers was their memorable 92-90 loss at Toronto in the 2019 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Here are the Sixers and their records in Game 7s entering Sunday: Joel Embiid (0-1), Tobias Harris (0-1), Ben Simmons (0-1), Seth Curry (1-0), Dwight Howard (2-0), George Hill (4-2), and Mike Scott (0-2).
This doesn’t count Danny Green, who has been sidelined since suffering a right calf strain early in Game 3 against the Hawks. Green is 2-2 in Game 7s, and was on the winning side when Toronto ousted the Sixers in 2019.
Prior to Sunday night, here are the Hawks who have played in a Game 7 and their record in those games: Danilo Gallinari (0-2), Clint Capela (1-1), Solomon Hill (0-1), Tony Snell (0-1), and Lou Williams (0-3).
Williams’ first Game 7 came with the Sixers, an 85-75 loss at Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2012. He had seven points off the bench. Doc Rivers was the Celtics’ coach
The Sixers starters in that game?
Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday, Elton Brand, Evan Turner, and Spencer Hawes.
Rivers in rare postseason company
When the Sixers beat the Hawks, 104-99, in Game 6, it was the 98th career playoff win for coach Doc Rivers.
Entering Sunday, here were the coaches with the most playoff wins, courtesy of basketball-reference.com:
1. Phil Jackson, 229
2. Pat Riley, 171
3. Gregg Popovich, 170
4. Larry Brown, 100
5. Red Auerbach, 99
6. Doc Rivers, 98
6. Jerry Sloan, 98
Morey gets some exec of the year votes
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey received one second-place vote and another third-place vote in finishing 11th in the NBA executive of the year voting.
Phoenix GM James Jones won the award, which the NBA announced on Sunday. New York Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, a graduate of Cherry Hill East, finished fourth.