By Tommy Matthews

The Sixers were cold-cocked by the Nets the other night, 129-100.

And it wasn’t that close.

The national attention to Ben Simmons sitting on the Nets bench brought even more heat and light to the game.

The Sixers were out of it early in he second half.

Which brought new meaning to the term, “garbage time.”

They just weren’t ready for the the moment.

And the lingering question is:

Can Doc Rivers coach a competitive game from the bench?

Or will his history of big-time failures continue?

“I don’t want to say they wanted to win any more than us,” Rivers said afterward.

“But they played that way. It was clear. Every single loose ball. Every long rebound. They got to everything tonight. They blew up simple dribble handoffs that we run. They ran right through us.”

Isn’t it the job of a coach to prepare his team for these kinds of challenges?

Why is it that Rivers seemed dazed by the knockout punch the Nets threw and never adjusted?

Not even running plays for 21-year-old Tyrese Maxey, who seemed completely in over his head?

All great coaches adjust on the fly.

Vince Lombardi did it.

Bobby Knight too.

It seems that Doc Rivers will not.

And that may cost the Sixers down the stretch and in the playoffs.

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