KISSIMMEE, Fla. – This is the 26th edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag.
Each week, Inquirer.com followers may submit questions to be answered.
Missed out on the party this week? No worries. Submit question(s) for next time by following me on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Answer: What’s up, Nigel? Great question. I actually wrote a little bit about this in Friday’s Inquirer. You really won’t be as surprised after remembering how the Sixers rely on analytics. Think about it, in analytics, the best shots are at the rim or three-pointers. So they play the “drop” as a way to avoid players getting behind the centers and scoring at the rim.
As you know, there’s still plenty of room for someone to shoot the ball when Joel Embiid comes up on the deep drop. That’s why the Boston Celtics got whatever shot they wanted in Wednesday night’s 128-101 victory in Game 2. They also attacked the rim and scored on the big fella. So the Sixers’ tactic isn’t working in their first-round playoff series against Boston.
A: What’s up, man, Mike? How have you been? I guess this kind of goes with Nigel’s answer. Defensively, they need to come up on the pick-and-roll and forget about the analytics, because what they’re doing isn’t working. They also need to be more physical with Jayson Tatum. They need the defender to be on-body and push him around off the ball. They also need to give him different defensive looks.
Offensively, they have to try to find a way to get Tobias Harris going. If they don’t, the Celtics will be on their way to sweeping the Sixers.
Harris is averaging 14 points on just 33.3% shooting and has missed all five of his three-pointers in the first two games. He’s made 4-of-9 shots at the rim and shot 1-for-7 on 3- to 10-footers.
The Sixers will need to post him up, bait switches on smaller defenders, and swing the ball to him while he’s on the perimeter.
A: Another great question. It all started during “The Process” when players weren’t held accountable. As I pointed out last week, the young lottery picks were treated like NBA All-Stars even before they played in their first games.
You can’t coddle someone for a few seasons, then come down hard on them. You have to hold them accountable from day one. That hasn’t happened in all instances, and now we see the results. Secondly, I will say that they don’t want to embarrass the player in the media, perhaps for fear of losing him.
A: Thanks for the question, Greg. How have you been, man? I expect Brett Brown to be let go after the conclusion of this season. Back in September, the belief was he would have to go deep in the postseason to keep his job. It appears that they’ll suffer a first-round exit. Yes, the pieces don’t fit. That’s not his problem.