BRETT BROWN exaggerated a bit when asked what his introduction to newly signed forward Furkan Aldemir was. "Welcome to Philadelphia. You've got [Jared] Sullinger," is how Brown described his conversation with his newest player, who has played professionally in Turkey since 2007-08.
Best known for his rebounding, the 23-year-old Aldemir played 9 minutes and 32 seconds against the Boston Celtics last night, scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in the 105-87 loss.
"I just came [Sunday] and it was a long flight and I feel a little bit tired, but I made it for my first practice in the morning and coach has shown me some plays and other things," Aldemir said. "If coach will give me a chance I'd like to give my best on the court."
He'll have plenty of chances, no doubt, as he joins Nerlens Noel and Henry Sims as the only true big men Brown has at his disposal.
"You can see that he plays with a motor," Brown said. "We look forward to getting his body and help mold that. But in regards to the base and how he thinks and sees the game and plays the game, there is an energy and historically he has rebounded, which is one of those skills, to me, where either you have it or you don't.
"I think we have to work on all those offensive things - making free throws, making 18-footers - that is not his strength. We especially have to work on getting his conditioning up to a standard that can go in the NBA physically. You'll see, he's got a long ways to go. Fortunately for us and for him, he's all into that side of it. He's kind of no different than a lot of our guys where we've got to develop some offensive skills."
As for acclimating himself to the NBA game, Aldemir isn't a total stranger to the world's best basketball league.
"I talk to my big brothers and they always talk about the NBA," he said. "I cannot watch all of the games because there's a time difference in Turkey, like 7 hours. So if we want to watch we can't at night because we have practice in the morning. So I always watch the highlights, I always watch stuff on YouTube. I hope I can help as soon as possible. I will try to give my best on the court."
Hollis Thompson had an all-too familiar night last night against Boston, shooting 1-for-3 in 21 uneventful minutes. That came a game after he lit up the Memphis Grizzlies for 21 points on 7-for-8 shooting, including all five from beyond the arc. But too many of his games this season have been more like last night's rather than Saturday's.
"Sometimes it's just how shooters roll," Brett Brown said. "You have peaks and valleys and over the course of time it just sort of balances out. He can shoot. There's no doubt Hollis can shoot. Sometimes you go through these truths that are just common. We encourage him to shoot. We have seen the benefit when Hollis and Robert Covington can get going. We haven't had that firepower from the perimeter since I've been here."