NEW YORK – Brett Brown respects how Jimmy Butler has tried to integrate himself into the 76ers. The All-Star swingman has been extremely patient since being acquired on Nov. 12 in a blockbuster trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"He's not force-feeding anything," the Sixers coach said before Sunday's 127-125 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. "Not his offensive game. Not his defensive game. And not his personality."
Butler is figuring the Sixers out, and going slow, Brown added.
While he likes temperance and patience, there are times when Brown wants the 29-year-old to be more aggressive.
"There was a series of possessions the other day where there was probably five to six trips up and down the court that he didn't get a touch," Brown said of Friday's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center.
Once he touched the ball, Butler made the correct play of passing to wide-open teammate Mike Muscala.
"There are times in the game, he's probably sacrificed or passed up a few opportunities to shoot the ball that catches me off guard," Brown said. "I'm expecting him to shoot.
"I think that slowly that will dissipate. He will find his comfort zone, and we will all benefit from each other."
Butler didn't have a problem being aggressive on Sunday. He finished with a season-high 34 points, with 18 coming in the fourth quarter. His setback three-pointer with 0.4 seconds left was the game-winner.
Butler is averaging 20.3 points while attempting 13.8 shots in his seven games with the Sixers. He was averaging 21.3 points and 15.7 shots in 10 games with the Timberwolves before the trade.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are among the NBA leaders in double-doubles.
Embiid has a league-best 20 double-doubles. That's two double-doubles ahead of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who's second on the list. Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond for third with 15, while Ben Simmons is fourth (14)
In addition to compiling double-doubles, Embiid is putting up MVP numbers.
As of Saturday, the All-Star center is sixth in the league in scoring, averaging 28.1 points per game. He was fifth in rebounds (13.3) and sixth in blocks (2.0). Embiid led the league with 17 games in which he recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.