76ers Fire Coach Brett Brown Following Sweep
After game four between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 78ers ended, it was apparent that changes were coming for Philly. Boston having just swept the Sixers, ended what was a disastrous season for Philly. Instead of being championship contenders, which was the expectation for this year, they failed to win a single playoff game in the bubble against their main eastern conference rival.
It was announced on Monday night that team general manager Elton Brand dismissed coach Brett Brown from his duties in what is likely to be the first of many organizational changes – including a likely role change for Brand himself. “I have a tremendous level of respect for Brett both personally and professionally and appreciate all he’s done for the 76ers organization and the City of Philadelphia,” Brand said in a statement. “He did many positive things during his time here, developing young talent and helping position our team for three straight postseason appearances. Unfortunately, we fell well short of our goals this year and I believe it is best to go in a new direction. This will be an important offseason for us as we look to get back on track towards our goal of competing for an NBA championship.”
While Brown may not have been the man for the job, the blood of Sam Hinkies’ process lies on the front offices’ hands. It is a dangerous thing for a team to believe that it is closer to winning a title than it is and that is the case here. The SIxers decided to build around stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons –two majorly talented superstars with glaring flaws and overlapping weaknesses – with a series of paying big-time money to good-to-mediocre role players in moves that have sunk teams like the Anthony Davis’ Pelicans and LeBron James’ Cavaliers in his first stint there.
It is clear that the organization needs to change from top to bottom, but the real question is whether the team decides to move off of Embiid or Simmons. While Embiid is the more talented player, he has never been able to get into shape and was the one actually playing during the sweep, while Simmons refuses to shoot, a major handicap for a modern offense. These two are about the worst fit of two stars as you can get, but I can see the team talking themselves into the duo for another season, then when they see themselves going down the same road for the fourth year in a row, I expect them to move one of them during the trade deadline.