10 days ago, the Sixers held a conference call with Elton Brand and area reporters. Today, it was head coach Brett Brown’s turn to keep us apprised of team happenings during the COVID-19-forced league suspension. Like seemingly 90 percent of people’s social interactions these days, the hour-long session took place over Zoom. Here are some of the more pertinent/interesting takeaways:
First, Brown made it clear that the organization still views the championship as its goal, and can’t use this layoff as an excuse. For all the roster’s struggles in terms of fit, the idea still floats out there that it was built for the postseason, a notion Brett came back to.
Brett Brown media Zoom call underway. He says the team won't use the hiatus as an excuse, should the season resume:— brianseltzer (@brianseltzer) May 15, 2020
"When it’s go time, we’ve got to go. We are still hunting for a championship."
#Sixers coach Brett Brown: 'I’m excited, confident and comfortable we’re going to hit the ground running (if the season re-starts). The mission has been and will be (that) we need to hunt for a championship.'— Tom Moore (@TomMoorePhilly) May 15, 2020
One of the questions most on Brett's mind during hiatus is - understandably - what works in the playoffs: "I stand by this - I think our team is built for the playoffs. I think we have opportunity to guard because of [our] length."— brianseltzer (@brianseltzer) May 15, 2020
On the topic of Ben Simmons, Brett called the layoff providing Ben time to heal from his back injury a “silver lining” to the season’s suspension.
Brett Brown said that the extra time for Ben Simmons to get healthy has been a "silver lining" of the suspended season.— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) May 15, 2020
The last time we saw Simmons on the court was February 22 against the Bucks. He played just five minutes before exiting the game. Based on Brett’s comments today, you have to wonder again why the medical staff gave him the go-ahead to play, important game or not.
discussing Simmons’ current health, Brown refers to his level of pain in Milwaukee “that was as disturbing a memory of a player as I can think of.” Says that Ben was vomiting he was in so much pain (???)— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) May 15, 2020
Brett also reiterated that we will continue to see Ben play both on and off the ball, whenever the team resumes play. Someone like Shake Milton stepping up and the arrival of Alec Burks via Golden State certainly helped the team distribute ball-handling duties elsewhere.
The #Sixers will continue play Ben Simmons off the ball some when they resume play. On occasion, the PG has played and excelled at the point forward and center positions this season.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 15, 2020
Joel Embiid also came up briefly, as his conditioning is generally a topic of discussion among Philadelphia fans. Brown was confident in Joel’s ability to retake the floor at a high level, and said both Joel and Ben are in a good place right now.
Brett Brown: "Joel's always a topic, we get it...I've had many conversations with Jo, and he's got a real desire to be at a playing weight that equals his best since he's been in the league. "— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) May 15, 2020
He also mentioned he would ideally like Joel to play 38 minutes per game during the playoffs. You may recall when having Greg Monroe as the backup center did not allow for that reality, and how well that worked out.
Brett Brown said the ideal number of *playoff* minutes for Joel Embiid would be 38 per game.— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) May 15, 2020
(Not 45 and change, I guess.)
On the topic of his future with the team, Brown mentioned he views things as incomplete. Regardless of whether or not you believe Brett should be the man at the helm moving forward, I’m sure we’re all hoping a postseason will actually occur where he can make his case.
It’s no secret that Brett Brown has a uncertain future with #Sixers. Brown on the prospect of the season not resuming and not getting an opportunity to show what he can do moving forward: “As it sits in my sort of coaching world, this thing is incomplete...”— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 15, 2020
On a lighter note, even NBA coaches are in the same quarantine boat as the rest of us. Are you the cook-er or the clean-er in your household?
Brett Brown's policy on kitchen duties during quarantine is a true mood.— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) May 15, 2020
"I cook, I am the cook. I do it mostly because I feel like I don't have to clean."
Finally, I’ll just leave this here. Stay safe and have a great weekend, everyone.