Sixers Roundup: Brett Brown Podcast Appearances

Brett Brown's Philadelphia 76ers fell to 9-64 on the season with a 108-105 loss to the Portland Trailblazers | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers head coach Brett Brown made a couple of podcast appearances discussing his team’s upcoming season. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Olympic basketball is starting to wind down, with both Dario Saric (Croatia, lost in the quarterfinals) and Sergio Rodriguez (Spain, semifinals) having lost after getting past that initial group stage. While Rodriguez has one more game remaining (the Bronze Medal game), Saric’s Olympic experience is over.

With the play on the court coming to a close, and the initial reactions to Saric in the rear view mirror, that brief oasis of basketball to analyze in the summer is now gone. In that void has been a couple of podcast appearances by Sixers head coach Brett Brown, with the preseason just over six weeks away.

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Brett Brown: Joel Embiid Is On Track To Play In Preseason

Sixers head coach Brett Brown works with Joel Embiid before the Sixers played the Indiana Pacers last season at the Wells Fargo Center | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers head coach Brett Brown said that Joel Embiid is on track to play in the preseason | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers head coach Brett Brown joined ESPN’s Zach Lowe on “The Lowe Post” earlier today.

They talked about a wide range of topics on the show, from Dario Saric‘s Olympic experience, to stories about Manu Ginobili and Greg Popovich during his time with the Spurs, to the growth of Australian basketball and how he’s cheering for Australia in the Olympics, even if they play against the United States in the gold medal game.

While they didn’t talk about the 76ers all that much (Brown was on The Lowe Post not that long ago), Lowe did sneak in one Sixers question at the end: how is Joel Embiid progressing?

“I just left my third consecutive day working out with Joel 45 minutes ago,” Brown told Lowe. “Physically, mentally, recent medical scans, everything is pointing in the right direction. We’re just very excited.”

Lowe then specifically asked whether he was on track to play in the preseason. “Yes he is,” Brown said without hesitation.

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Joel Embiid Is Basketball’s Ultimate Wild Card

Joel Embiid practices before the Sixers played the Los Angeles Clippers on February 8th, 2016 | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers’ center Joel Embiid comes with equal parts risk and reward. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a level of excitement for the start of the Philadelphia 76ers season that this city hasn’t seen in quite some time.

Much of that can be attributed to many of the dominoes Sam Hinkie lined up over the past three seasons finally coming to fruition. From getting the #1 overall pick in May’s lottery, to Ben Simmons showing his immense talent in July’s summer league, to Dario Saric deciding to come over, there’s been a chain reaction of good news for Sixers fans that makes it obvious good times are ahead.

Much of that excitement is centered around Ben Simmons, and deservedly so. Simmons is an electrifying talent who has the ability to turn around a franchise, especially if he polishes some of the rough areas of his game. The fact that Sixers fans could watch his dazzling passes while wearing a Sixers uniform this summer certainly helped amp up the excitement level, as he possesses a combination of elite-level talent and immediacy that the rebuild had been lacking up to that point.

Yet there’s a second elite talent lurking in the shadows in the form of 7’2″, 270 center Joel Embiid, and he has the chance to eclipse them all.

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Sixers Roundup: Dario Saric Drawing Positive Reviews for Performance in Olympics

Dario Saric, selected 12th overall in the 2014 NBA draft, insists that he will join the Sixers next summer | Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dario Saric has drawn positive reviews with his play in the Olympics. | Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the Olympics in full swing many have gotten their first extended look Dario Saric, providing a glimpse into what Sixers fans will see when the regular season begins in just a little over two months time.

While Saric has struggled from the field at times, including going just 1-7 from the field against Spain and 2-5 against Nigeria, Saric’s hustle, rebounding, and incredible passing have gotten fans rightfully excited.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the coverage, both locally and nationally, about the Sixers over the past week.

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76ers Schedule Released, Open Season October 26th Against Oklahoma City

Ben Simmons has signed his rookie contract with the Philadelphia 76ers | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers will appear in five nationall televised games during the 2016-17 season. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers will open their season in Philadelphia on Wednesday, October 26th against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN, the 76ers first nationally televised game since the 2012-13 season. In fact, the 76ers will have five nationally televised games this season: October 26th against the Thunder (ESPN), November 7th against Utah (NBA TV), November 14th at Houston (NBA TV), November 17th at Minnesota (TNT), and December 16th against the Lakers (ESPN). Read more »

Beyond the Box Score: Dario Saric’s Defensive Rotations

Jan 6, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown during the first quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Wells Fargo Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Sixers 126-95. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers head coach Brett Brown will be happy to have Dario Saric in his rotation next season. | Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Dario Saric has been a key cog for the Croatian National Team, averaging 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6 assists for Croatia so far in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Through two games Saric has shown many of the qualities (great court vision, consistent effort, rebounding) that potentially make him such a valuable, and exciting, role player, while also showing off some of the limitations (mediocre athleticism, lack of rim protection, slow first step, lack of defensive versatility) which limit his ceiling. Saric has struggled a bit during the tournament to create offense off the dribble, and starting the tournament off by missing his first nine shots from three-point range shows just how important it is for that improved jump shot to carry over to the NBA.

Still, while the flashy passing and the incredible hustle that led to the game-saving block on Pau Gasol in the waning seconds of Croatia’s 72-70 win over Spain are certainly something to be excited about, Saric’s defensive awareness has been on display as well, and that’s something which is going to be critical for Saric to get the most out of his limited defensive profile, and why I’m bullish on him being a contributor on that end of the court despite his obvious limitations.

Below are a couple of examples of relatively simple read-and-react defensive situations that are very important to a team’s defensive concepts. Also, because it wouldn’t be a Dario Saric article without some passing highlights, I’ve included a couple of those at the bottom of this article as well. Read more »

Sixers in Rio: New Teammates Saric, Rodriguez Square Off

Dario Saric, selected 12th overall in the 2014 NBA draft, insists that he will join the Sixers next summer | Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dario Saric, acquired by the Sixers after being selected 12th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2014 NBA draft, will lead the Croatian Men’s Basketball Team, which begins play tonight against Spain. | Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games started in earnest yesterday, with Australia’s surprising win over France kicking off the basketball tournament.

The 76ers have two players competing in the tournament, Dario Saric with Croatia and Sergio Rodriguez with Spain. Neither player has yet played a game with the 76ers, as Saric spent the last two seasons playing for Anadolu Efes in Turkey after being acquired by the Sixers in a draft-day trade in 2014, and Rodriguez was signed to a one-year contract this offseason out of the ACB in Spain.

The two new teammates will kick off their Olympic schedule tonight. Against each other. Read more »

Sixers Roundup: How Entertaining Will They Be?

LSU's Ben Simmons.

Ben Simmons and the Sixers should be much more entertaining to watch this year. 

While the NBA is in the midst of its down season — mercifully interrupted by the Summer Olympics — news and analysis being done about your local basketball team is still being churned out at a high rate.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the coverage, both locally and nationally, about the Sixers over the past week.

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Here’s How You Can Recreate Johnny Doc’s Look

The news that Philly power broker John Dougherty’s house was raided by federal agents this morning came as a surprise, but his outfit was pretty much par for the course for Philadelphia.

Johnny Doc was in khaki shorts, a white button-front shirt (with the top two buttons undone), loafers and a 76ers hat. It’s like he gave the media a comment on the FBI raid without saying a word: “Trust the process!”

It made sense that Dougherty put on these clothes when he got up in the morning — or perhaps he wore them to bed last night, as he told Philadelphia magazine in 2014 he sleeps only four hours a night. But, when I decided I wasn’t going into the office today, I put on an outfit that almost matched Doc’s: shorts, a button-front shirt and sneakers without socks. A little bit of tweaking (I put on a white shirt instead of a blue one, and I went to the basement to find my 76ers hat) and I had it. Read more »

76ers Announce Changes to Coaching Staff

The Sixers and head coach Brett Brown have reached a contract extension that will keep Brown in Philadelphia through the 2018-19 season.

The 76ers announced several changes to head coach Brett Brown’s coach staff. 

The Philadelphia 76ers have announced several changes to head coach Brett Brown‘s coaching staff.

The most notable change is the addition of former head coach Jim O’Brien as an assistant on Brown’s staff. O’Brien, a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University, has a career 303-327 record as an NBA head coach, including a 43-39 record with the 76ers in 2004-05. He has also been the head coach of Boston (139-110) and Indiana (121-169). O’Brien’s most recent stint was as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks in 2012-13.

Also joining the ranks of assistant coach is Kevin Young, who has been the head coach of the Delaware 87ers over the past two seasons. Young, who played college basketball for Clayton State University, was previously a head coach for the Iowa Energy and Utah Flash in the D-League. Eugene Burroughs, who has been the shooting coach for the 76ers the past two seasons, will replace Young as head coach of the 87ers, with John Townsend taking over the vacant shooting coach position with the 76ers.

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