Explaining the Firing of Brett Brownby John Devereaux August 26, 2020 0 comments
With the recent firing of the Philadelphia 76ers’ head coach Brett Brown, the 76ers are heading into a new era of basketball. Brett Brown has spent the last several seasons as the head coach. He was introduced during the Sam Hinkie era of “Trust The Process”, where the team had tanked for multiple seasons to obtain higher odds in the draft.
During this time the team had multiple years to which they had a top-five pick. They drafted Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz. Two of the five players have stayed with the team through this season. Both Simmons and Embiid have proven to be top 20 players in the NBA.
Noel, Fultz, and Okafor have shown upside but ultimately were traded to other teams as they were not fast developers. Brown was brought in to help develop the young guys and succeeded in his role. His ability to help Embiid become a dominant center has been nothing but spectacular. Simmons came into the league as an already NBA ready type of player but has shown improvement on the defensive side of the ball. Brown even was able to get the best out of other younger players such as former Rookie of the Year winner Michael Carter-Williams. Robert Covington, Ish Smith, and Isaiah Caanan were all developed to their potential under Brown.
The reason the team had to move on from Brown after several seasons, is due to his lack of leading a team to a deep playoff run. Brown can develop players fine, but his offensive play calling is just horrible. He relies heavily on his two best players in Simmons and Embiid. Half the plays call for a post up Embiid shot or a pick and roll for Simmons where he drives to the basket. Even though Brown never made the final shots for drafting players, he needs to realize that spreading the floor would help benefit both Simmons and Embiid.
The team traded for both Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson to help spread the floor. Brown rarely uses Richardson as a player to catch and shoot. He places Richardson as a ball-handler for his shots or has him camping in the corner. Richardson is a very athletic wing who can slash. Having him cut to the corner, or to the rim off an Embiid post pass would spread the floor considerably. Yet, Brown never used that playstyle.
Brown could have also had Harris become a great pick and pop player where Harris sets a pick for Simmons instead of attacking the basket. Harris would then fade to the three-point line. Brown tried this, but he would always let Simmons make the call to whether he passed to Harris or kept it for himself. Most of the time Simmons would keep the ball and try to pass the ball to another player. Harris, who was usually open for the shot, was ignored. The offense had been frustrating to watch, as a loaded starting five was just unable to mesh together.
What’s Next for the Team
Now that Brown is gone, who will the 76ers hire to replace him? That is unsure, as the NBA season is still going on, the team might wait until the playoffs are near an end to find their coach. This is because they might be eyeing a coach that is currently with a team that is still in the playoffs. Coaches such as Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts could be leaving if their team underperforms again.
The type of coach the 76ers should look into is not either D’Antoni or Stotts. The team needs an offensive-minded coach. One that can work with two interior scorers, and force them to spread the floor. From all the available coaches, none of them come to mind perfectly. But that leads to the next subject, should the 76ers trade either Simmons or Embiid.
It would make more sense to not trade either quite yet, but if the team believes the window to win a championship is closing it would make more sense to trade Simmons. Embiid is a more valuable asset to a team. It would be much harder to replace the talent of Embiid than it would be for Simmons. Trading Simmons could also get the 76ers more assets in return as he is younger and healthier than Embiid. The trade package could be anything. From another superstar that would compliment Embiid such as a Paul George or Devin Booker, or they could get an All-Star that comes along with multiple first-round picks or veteran players. A trade like Simmons for Kevin Love, three first-round picks, and another veteran player could be possible.
These trades have not been rumored. However, the idea of seeing one of the two players being traded this off-season has been floating around. Although Elton Brand; the General Manager of the team, had dismissed the idea of trading either of the players.
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