These are the two most common complaints I see on social media regarding the Sixers’ offense:
- “dribble hand-offs suck”
- “why isn’t Joel Embiid getting his ass in the post?”
I think a third would be “Ben Simmons can’t shoot,” which I wrote about a few hours ago. A fourth complaint would be that the “Sixers’ offensive schemes suck” and maybe a fifth would be that Brett Brown doesn’t dial up quality half court plays in late game situations. That would probably be a Twitter top-five, those things I mentioned.
Regarding the first two, I asked Brett about that straight-up today, about the idea that his detractors seem to complain about those ideas more than anything. That was the first part of the question, and the second part was about bringing in Jimmy Butler, adding more pick and roll, then tweaking things to fit Tobias Harris.
As a result, has Brett’s offensive philosophy changed at all?
It seemingly has not, and he gave a lengthy response that essentially doubled down on why he believe what he believes. I’ll break it into four parts, beginning with this:
I have given this explanation before and I’m proud to give it again. We led most of the previous years the NBA in passing. That is a fact. I believe we had a team that was better moving a lot, freeing each other a lot, Dario (Saric) and Cov (Robert Covington) weren’t going to break people down off an isolation or a pick-and-roll. And so we led the NBA in passing. Connected to that, we led the NBA in assist percentage or were always in the top two. I’m proud of sharing the ball. Since we all met six years ago, I told you the pass is king. The pass is king, it’s everything, because it connects the dots to chemistry. You share.
This is something Brett has reiterated a million times before, one, that they weren’t a pick and roll team because they simply did not have great pick and roll players, and two, that he philosophically believes in movement, pace, and space. He runs a motion offense, he encourages sharing of the ball, and he’s willing to live with the resulting turnovers.
The Sixers finished 4th this season with 26.9 assists per game. Assist percentage was 61.9, also fourth. 317 passes per game was third in the league. The Sixers have consistently ranked in the top five in these types of passing and assist categories.
More Brett, after the jump: