CAMDEN, NJ–There are only 17 games to go for the Philadelphia 76ers before the playoffs begin in mid-April. This final stretch of the season is all about getting everyone ready and fresh for the postseason so the Sixers can make the run they expect to make.
With that being said, coach Doc Rivers still wants to see different lineups and rotations during this final stretch. He wants to see what Jalen McDaniels can do with more minutes and see what PJ Tucker at the 5 looks like for longer parts of the game as well as other lineups he may have in mind.
“With Jalen, we’re just still trying to figure out how to get him more minutes at different spots,” said Rivers. “We only did the Tuck at the 5 once, but it’s funny, we had planned to do it in the Indiana game. He didn’t play and then the Minnesota game, that was our game plan, but it was his first game back. So we didn’t want to do it again.”
Even though the Sixers weren’t able to see what they have in Tucker at the 5 during the recent road trip, Rivers was still happy to see different players step up in different situations. For example, McDaniels scored 20 as a starter in the win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday.
“So our plans kind of got thrown away for that because we thought there were two great teams to go small and Minnesota, get (Rudy) Gobert away from the basket,” Rivers continued. “We won the games, we’ll take them. So there are things we didn’t get to work on that we thought we would, but as far as expanding our rotation, we did that and that went well.”
In terms of whether Rivers will change the rotation and have guys do different things in the playoffs, he won’t go that far, but it does help down the stretch of a grueling regular season that he has guys who can do different things. That helps in games that Joel Embiid, James Harden, and other starters can’t play in.
“I really have our guys because really, in the playoffs you’re gonna have your guys,” Rivers finished. “So we do practice enough, do skeleton at work enough that you have an idea of what would work without them, but it’s still better to do it live.”
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire