The midway point of the NBA season prompted 76ers coach Doc Rivers to draw an analogy using the Four Seasons. Or McDonald’s.

As a player, Rivers “detested” when coaches broke the season into chunks of games. Instead, he vows to “set your standard — who you’re going to be and what [you are] and who you’re going to be every night.”

Hence, the reference to the luxury hotel chain that NBA teams often use while on road trips. Or to the iconic fast-food chain whose name came up when the coach recently asked his players to name a place where they know what they’re going to get.

“They’re like, ‘McDonalds is consistent!’ And they are,” Rivers said. “They name a couple other chains and you leave the drive-thru and you don’t get what you asked for. … We talk about standards and consistency and owning up to those.”

The Sixers entered Friday’s game against Boston with a 23-17 record, which puts them fifth in the Eastern Conference. Rivers believes that, when the Sixers are at full strength, “we’re a pretty good basketball team.”

» READ MORE: Thunder Mug Cafe's Lizette Apy hopes her 76ers partnership inspires Black business owners

Naturally, the coach loves the dominant play of Joel Embiid, who entered Friday averaging 27.1 points per game (including eight consecutive 30-point games), 10.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists to again emerge as an MVP contender. But Rivers has disliked the Sixers’ stretches of poor defense, their season-long rebounding woes, and that their lack of size at guard is “a problem some nights.”

Lack of roster continuity has also made it difficult to establish and work toward Rivers’ standards. Yet he knows that is not unique to his team, with the NBA battling a significant COVID-19 surge for the past month.

“You could rewind this to every press conference in the league right now,” Rivers said. “That’s just the way it is. Every time you feel like you’re close to getting healthy, [you get a round of] COVID, then someone gets injured.”

Health troubles continue for Green, Milton

Danny Green’s and Shake Milton’s seasons have been peppered with health issues. That continued Friday, when both missed the game against the Boston Celtics with hip pain and a back contusion, respectively.

Rivers described Milton’s injury as “pretty significant” after taking an awkward fall late in a Jan. 3 home game against Houston. Milton also missed the end of the preseason and the first four games of the season with a sprained ankle, and another four games in late December while in COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“He’s still really struggling,” Rivers said of Milton’s current injury. “I don’t foresee him back anytime soon. The fact that I probably could beat him in a race today would tell me he’s a long way away.”

Without Milton, the complementary ballhandling duties behind starter Tyrese Maxey will likely continue to fall on Furkan Korkmaz or Seth Curry. Embiid and forward Tobias Harris also have the green light to initiate the offense following a rebound. Two-way rookie guard Myles Powell is another option off the bench.

» READ MORE: Sixers' Charlie Brown Jr. serves as ‘perfect story’ for imperfect NBA season

For Green, Rivers said “so far, it seems like he’s having one of those years.” Friday was his 12th game missed while hampered primarily with hamstring and hip troubles, plus a mild bout with COVID-19 late last month. After hurting his hip in the first half during Wednesday’s loss to Charlotte, Green briefly returned before checking out again.

The 34-year-old wing has played a ton of basketball since the restart bubble in the summer of 2020, noting before the season that the toughest thing for him will be sitting when necessary to make sure he is ready for the playoffs.

“At some point, we probably just have to figure out [and] make sure he’s 100%,” Rivers said Friday. “I don’t know. It’s tough, because he said he was feeling great, and then he literally comes in for one play and something happens and now he’s out again. That’s a tough one.”