In recent years, the Philadelphia 76ers have been one of the NBA’s elite home-record teams, but have struggled on the road. In the 2021-22 season, it was quite the opposite.
After a 116-106 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night on the road, the Sixers are now 14-8 on the road. They are tied with the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz for most road wins in the NBA. The Nets and Jazz are both 14-3 on the road this season.
Getting together on the road was one of Doc Rivers’ goals when he took over as coach of the Sixers and so far that goal is becoming a reality.
“We tackled this on the first day of training camp two years ago,” Rivers said. “My first practice session and I was as candid as possible with a team that you guys don’t know with the guys. Basically I said, ‘We’re ashamed on the road and there’s no excuse for it. When you look at your home record, how are we so bad on the road? We talked about it. The guys gave their opinion. I didn’t buy any. I really wasn’t.
The Sixers were just 12-26 on the road in the 2019-20 season, the last season before Rivers took over, and they were 20-16 away in Rivers’ first season of 2020. -21. It is clear that his message is having an effect.
“Since coming here we’ve insisted on getting better on the road,” said Tobias Harris. “Being locked in and focused on this season with all the distractions and all the different variables and what’s going on, I just think the group did a great job of being prepared and ready and going out and circling and being able to pick themselves up on. the road and we really keep our focus throughout. I think that has been a big key.
Just because the Sixers are far from Philadelphia doesn’t mean they should suddenly play badly. Rivers has gone to great lengths to make sure the team is ready to win games while being on the road.
“We have to go on the road, it’s your job,” he said. “I think our guys get that. When they hit the road now, the number one priority is to be ready for the game and I think our guys are doing a good job in that regard.
Now, on the other hand, the Sixers are just 7-8 at home to start the season. They were 29-7 at home in 2020-21 and they were 31-4 in the 2019-20 season. Joel Embiid is happy with the success on the road, but he wants the team to do it at home as well.
“It means we’re not very good at home which is surprising because in the past it was the opposite,” Embiid said. “I’d rather be good at home than on the road and this year we haven’t been as good as we would like at home so we definitely need to be better. It’s great, but we have to do a better job at home.
The Sixers will have their next chance on Friday when they host the San Antonio Spurs.
This post originally appeared on Sixers wire! follow us on Facebook!
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