KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Happy Friday, folks!

I hope this is the start of beautiful and relaxing weekend for y’all. I know relaxing will be the first thing on my mind this evening. A brother needs to experience a little #DownTimeFlow to recharge for tomorrow.

You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers. Thank you for reading.

— Keith Pompey (offthedribble@inquirer.com)

Brand pledges to deliver on goals

Elton Brand began Tuesday’s media availability on Zoom with a statement.

You knew the general manager was going to praise coach Brett Brown, whom the organization fired the day before. You knew he was going to acknowledge that the Sixers had a failure of a season. You knew he would say it was unacceptable.

But Brand took it a step further.

“We owe it, I owe it to these fans,” he said. “I owe it to this city to deliver on our goals.”

Brand still believes in the young core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. He’ll spend the offseason trying to find ways to complement them.

“And we can get over this hump,” he said. “It’s time to get better, and that time starts now.”

The Sixers were swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) shooting past Sixers center Joel Embiid during Game 4 on Sunday.
Kim Klement / AP
Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) shooting past Sixers center Joel Embiid during Game 4 on Sunday.

Starting five

Tough loss for Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard was the most unstoppable player in the NBA bubble. The All-Star point guard was the main reason the Portland Trail Blazers had earned the Western Conference eighth seed and are facing the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.

Well, he left the NBA bubble Thursday to have his injured left right knee further examined in Portland. The injury occurred in the third quarter of the Lakers’ 135-115 victory in Monday’s Game 4. Lillard was averaging 37.6 points, 9.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds before the injury. He had scoring nights of 51, 61 and 42 points.

The Lakers lead the series, 3-1.

Passing the rock

Send questions by email or on Twitter (@PompeyOnSixers)

Question: Is Dave Joerger being considered as head coach? He’s better than both Mike Brown and Tyronn Lue. — @Black_Cape on Twitter

Answer: What’s up, Tavon? I hope you had a great week and will have an even better weekend.

As for Joerger’s being considered, there’s a push for him to get an interview. It’s tough to judge how talented he is. He took over a loaded Memphis Grizzlies team and had success during his first three seasons in the league. However, he suffered two first-round exits during those seasons. The Sixers need a coach who can make a splash in the postseason.

Dave Joerger was the coach of the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies.
Karen Pulfer Focht / AP
Dave Joerger was the coach of the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies.