76ers' Doc Rivers Backs Joel Embiid's Officiating Complaints: 'I Think He's Right'

Blake SchusterContributor IJune 19, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is defended by Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) as he goes in for a basket during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers backed up his team's franchise star on Saturday, agreeing with Joel Embiid's assessment of the officiating in Game 6 on Friday.

Following the Sixers' 104-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, Embiid complained that referees were calling fouls for Trae Young that none of his teammates in Philadelphia were getting. The big man said he wasn't asking for more calls, just fairness overall.

Rivers agreed.

Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly

#Sixers coach Doc Rivers on Embiid saying he's not getting the calls Young did. 'I don't want to get into this, but I think he's right. ... There was one layup he made where a guy cut into his body & he fell to the floor. It seems like they can take liberties with big guys.'

Embiid's comments followed the Hawks slightly edging the Sixers at the free-throw line, 24-23, while the big man himself went 3-of-4 at the line. He didn't get his first free throw until 7:07 left in the fourth quarter.

He wasn't shy about letting refs know about it in real time, either.

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

Embiid on the officiating: “I was hacked all night and i don’t think i got to the free throw line until the fourth quarter…i told them they had to call it both ways, we had a bunch of guys, whether it’s Ben or Tobias, who were in foul trouble…i just want it called both ways.”

With Game 7 shifting back to Philadelphia on Sunday, the Kansas alum just wants to make sure both teams are given as fair an opportunity to win as possible.

Rivers is right there with him in that sentiment.