Doc Rivers Downplays 76ers' 15-6 Record: 'We're Not Where We Need to Be'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers questions a call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Doc Rivers is not satisfied with the Philadelphia 76ers' spot atop the Eastern Conference.

"I can't tell you our record. I'm not even going to guess. I'm just focused on us getting better. We're not where we need to be or where we want to be. If this is the best we are, we aren't good enough," Rivers, in his first season in charge of the team, told reporters Tuesday.

For the record, the Sixers are 15-6. They hold a 2.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks in a jumbled Eastern Conference. Teams Nos. 2-13 are separated by just five games in the standings, and every team besides Philly has at least eight losses.

The 2020-21 NBA season has been parity-filled one that makes it hard to discuss any long-term projections because nearly every team has been affected by either COVID-19, injuries or both. 

The Sixers navigated their own early-season outbreak, thanks in part to an easy schedule and MVP-caliber play from Joel Embiid.

Rivers is likely correct in saying the 76ers aren't at their best because no team is anywhere close at this point in the season. The Sixers will also have to make some roster additions, likely on the wing, to have a shot at reaching the NBA Finals in his first season with the franchise. 

That said, they're in a far cozier position than they were at this point last season, when Philly ironically was also 15-6 through its first 21 games with Brett Brown as head coach.