MINNEAPOLIS - Gerald Henderson was a leader at his previous two stops in the NBA. It comes as no surprise that he has assumed that role with the 76ers.
Coach Brett Brown cracked a smile when talking about what Henderson brings to his youthful team.
"We are getting a heck of a year out of Gerald Henderson," Brown said. "He is a veteran. He's tough. There's a physicality he brings that we need."
The former Episcopal Academy standout also has been an unofficial player-coach to his teammates. The eighth-year veteran is quick to coach his teammates on what to do in certain situations during the game.
His conversation with Dario Saric late in a 109-102 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday was a prime example. Saric was fouled hard by John Wall while attempting a layup with 1.2 seconds left. After the power forward was fouled, Henderson met him. The guard pointed toward the perimeter as if to say, "Next time, keep the ball out there until time expires."
"He's doing the same thing in the locker room," Brown said. "And he's doing the same thing coming out for a third period [when the Sixers have struggled]. . . . So he's on our guys, helping us getting them going there, too.
"So he's been a great leader."
Henderson was averaging 10.5 points heading into Thursday night's matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Joel Embiid and Saric were the NBA's only rookies to post multiple double-doubles as of Wednesday night.
Embiid had 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Orlando Magic on Nov. 1, then finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Houston Rockets on Monday.
Saric had 14 points and 12 boards against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 9. He had 13 points and 12 rebounds Wednesday.
"I don't want to go too far [in hyping up the accomplishment] because we have a lot of good rookies in the league," Saric said. "But it's a positive thing. We played together and had good games. . . . But I think the most important thing for him and I is the team."
Embiid is glad he has had the chance to play alongside Saric.