NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Sixers got a relatively free day in New Orleans. Head coach Doc Rivers was talking New Orleans restaurants with reporters.  

Rivers watched Wednesday night’s Pelicans-Timberwolves game from the stands, as his son Austin Rivers and Minnesota lost a nail biter, 119-118. That viewing including some lively banter with New Orleans fans. 

“I want to thank all the New Orleans fans for sending me free beers,” he said in good spirits. “That was terrific. Just remind them tomorrow, if they send them during the game, I can’t do them while I am coaching. You know, I haven’t been in the crowd in a long time, they were great. A lot of fun back and forth…they were great.”

“They saw me clapping when Minnesota scored. They said, ‘What are you doing? You are with us.'”

Rivers was impressed by what he saw from the Pelicans. So, we asked the coach who won an NBA title with Boston in 2008 the obvious question. 

“Can the Pelicans win a championship, coach?” asked WGNO Sports Director Ed Daniels.

“No, because they would have to beat us,” he answered. “They can get there. We all for that.”

“Jones didn’t play, Ingram didn’t play. You’re like, this team is loaded,” he added.

Rivers said the thing that impressed him most about the Pelicans is team chemistry. 

“What stands out to me is they are a team, they like each other, they play together, and they play with an intensity that it takes to win a title. Most teams don’t understand that. Particularly young teams…they are going to be a hard out. I don’t know who is going to knock them out in the West.

“They are tough.”