Whenever I see Angelo Cataldi’s weekly column pop up at Philly Voice, I expect a short read, a bunch of recycled cliches cobbled together into an article featuring very little supportive evidence or meaningful analysis.
Today’s offering is titled “Angelo Cataldi: The Sixers’ weak spot may be head coach Brett Brown,” which is certainly fair and probably even true. This is the most talented Sixers team of my lifetime, and Brett Brown is under immense amounts of pressure to pull these guys together and get ’em rolling. General Manager Elton Brand did his job, and now it’s Brett’s turn. There’s nothing outrageous about Angelo’s premise, and Brett’s late-game management is one of the biggest question marks surrounding the team as we exit the All-Star break and hit the home stretch.
The problem with Angelo is that he ruins every decent topic with half-assed and/or incomplete execution, which makes him look lazy and ready for retirement.
Angelo takes issue with the end of the Boston game, writing the following:
Without belaboring every glitch in the final moments – every timeout Brown failed to call, every misplay Brown oversaw – let’s just say the game came down to Joel Embiid against Al Horford, 34 seconds left, the Celts ahead, 106-104. The NBA would acknowledge in its subsequent Two Minute Report that Embiid was hacked on the ensuing shot, and he was.
But why was the star center left to his own devices with the game on the line? Embiid later took all of the responsibility on himself, saying it would have been better to call a timeout, but his team had none. Actually, the Sixers had two. It was the responsibility of Brown to set up that play, not Embiid. As he so often does, the coach chose to leave it to his players.
Okay, first things first, I think Angelo is talking about two different things here. He begins that paragraph by talking about the Embiid/Horford no-call possession that took place with 34 seconds left. At that point, yes, the Sixers had two timeouts remaining.
But then he goes on to say, “Embiid later took all of the responsibility on himself, saying it would have been better to call a timeout, but his team had none,” which refers to the Sixers’ final possession, which happened on a different trip down the floor. It was the play where Tobias Harris missed the three-pointer and Embiid got the rebound, then scored the layup instead of kicking the ball back out.