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Brett Brown

Sixers Notes: Bayless, Noel, Okafor, Brown

Injured point guard Jerryd Bayless should consider surgery on his left wrist, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bayless has only played in three of the Sixers’ 20 games because of a torn ligament. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection last week and plans to join the team for Monday’s game with the Nuggets. “I’m going to try to play,” Bayless said. “I want to play. I want to get to the point where I can play and not worry about it.” Pompey commends Bayless for attempting to play through the pain after signing a three-year, $27MM contract this summer, but he adds that surgery is probably the wiser move considering that the Sixers seem doomed to another non-playoff season.

There’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers need to get Nerlens Noel back on the court before they can make a decision about whether to trade him or Jahlil Okafor, according to Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Noel has been sidelined since October 24th when he had surgery to take care of inflamed tissue above his left knee. Okafor has a much higher trade value right now, Cooney states, because he is a proven scorer and other teams are wary of Noel’s health. Once Noel returns, which could be in a couple of weeks, the team may have difficulty finding enough minutes for him with Okafor and Joel Embiid already in place.
  • Brett Brown isn’t in any immediate danger of being fired, Cooney contends in the same piece. Despite a league-worst 4-16 record, Cooney doesn’t believe the organization will get rid of Brown before he has a chance to work with No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, who has been out since the preseason with a fracture in his right foot.
  • The Sixers have started using Embiid and Okafor on the court together and the early results have been positive, notes Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly“I liked our spacing, I liked the high-low stuff we were doing,” Brown said. “I think when you post Joel, that Jahlil is going to play sort of hide-and-seek on the other side of the floor, and work that low zone, and become — I hope — a potent offensive rebounder. When you post Jahlil, Joel has the ability to space to three.”

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Brown, “Trust The Process”

The Sixers saw another close game slip away this afternoon as Joel Embiid was limited by a minutes restriction, writes Derek Bodner of PhillyMag. Coach Brett Brown admits it can be frustrating to have to take out the star center with games on the line, but he considers himself the “steward” of the organization and wouldn’t consider deying orders in the heat of battle to try to get a victory. “You come up with some really hard decisions that maybe don’t favor me, or us, or whatever, but for the long-term lens that we all have, we have to be responsible with Joel Embiid, and our [other] players,” Brown said. “We all get what we have in Joel Embiid. So winning a game in the middle of November in 2016, sometimes that takes a back seat.”

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • Embiid is putting up All-Star numbers in his limited minutes, but he is just beginning to show how good he can be, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The rookie center is working to regain his full measure of athleticism after two seasons lost to injury. Embiid says he still can’t finish at the rim the way he expects to. “I feel like I can push myself to being more athletic,” Embiid said. “I haven’t really been able to, like when I attack the basket, to go up like and try to dunk on someone because I don’t have that yet. So it’s just about me getting in the weight room with it, just lifting and working on making sure I stay strong.”
  • Embiid wants to help bring glamour back to the center position, Pompey writes in another story. He is one of a handful of talented young big men who are putting up impressive numbers in a league that has de-emphasized post play.“I think the big man is the main piece,” Embiid said. “Offensively, getting rebounds, and when you got a big man that can score down low and do everything [it] is always good for the team.”
  • Brown enjoys the “Trust the process” chant that Philadelphia fans have adopted whenever Embiid goes to the foul line, relays Dave McMenamin of The phrase is a nod to former GM Sam Hinkie, who collected assets for years without fielding a competitive team in the hopes that a winner would eventually emerge. Embiid has taken on the nickname for himself, and the fans have responded. “When the crowd gets going with ‘the process’ and Joel anoints himself ‘Trust the process,’ there’s a side of it, I say, ‘Good for the crowd, good for Joel,’ and none of us are going to take ourselves too serious,” Brown said.

Atlantic Notes: Noel, Knicks, Noah, Bennett

Injured forward Nerlens Noel met with Sixers coach Brett Brown on Saturday to discuss the tam’s plans for him when he returns, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Noel had surgery October 24th because of inflamed tissue above his left knee and has been doing rehab work in Alabama. He returned to Philadelphia on Friday to begin team-supervised workouts. “I’m not able right now to lay out the perfect road map to everybody,” Brown said. “But it was a great conversation. It was good to see him as we always do with our players and me with Nerlens. I’ve been with him a long time. It’s very clear and candid what his role and what’s going to happen. How are we going to try to make it work.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks had a team meeting Saturday with coaches and president Phil Jackson to discuss some early-season issues, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Carmelo Anthony called the meeting productive, and said Jackson didn’t speak. “Nah, he actually just listened this time,” Anthony said, “which is good.”
  • Joakim Noah understands that his first month in a Knicks uniform has been disappointing, relays Ian Begley of The free agent center, who came to New York on a four-year, $72MM deal, has seen his playing time decrease lately as coach Jeff Hornacek relies more on a small-ball lineup. “There’s still things I feel like I need to do a lot better,” Noah said. “I’m not happy with where I am right now. I feel like I can definitely play better, but I’m not going to get frustrated with the process. I’m giving everything I’ve got and looking forward to being better with this team, but not being frustrated with the process.”
  • Nets coach Kenny Atkinson is being rewarded for his faith in former overall number one pick Anthony Bennett, according to Bennett turned in two good performances this week, including 12 points in 21 minutes Friday night. “It was just an opportunity [for him],” said Atkinson, who urged Brooklyn’s front office to give Bennett a chance. “We look at practice and we look at how he’s been working, how he’s been doing and I felt like he deserved an opportunity.”

Atlantic Notes: Davis, Ainge, Brown, Poeltl

Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman isn’t a believer in the Anthony Davis to Boston trade rumors. Speaking on the Toucher and Rich radio show, Gorman said neither Davis or the Pelicans are interested in a trade. “Joel Meyers, who’s been around the league forever and is a great play-by-play guy who does New Orleans, [told Brian Scalabrine] and I  . . . ‘No shot [Davis is] leaving.’ There’s no shot he’s leaving. He is anchored to New Orleans, loves New Orleans, loves living there and wants to ultimately be the leader of a good team in New Orleans,'” Gorman said. “Well, good luck to him if that’s the case, because that’s going to take a while.” Gorman also doesn’t think DeMarcus Cousins or James Harden would be a good fit with the Celtics.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge speeded up the rebuilding process by making 19 trades since coach Brad Stevens was hired in July of 2013, writes Chris Forsberg of Forsberg analyzes all 19 deals and finds that Ainge got at least equal value in return every time.
  • A coaching change in Philadelphia would be a mistake, argues Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Daily News. Hayes states that Brett Brown can’t be judged fairly until Joel Embiid has time to develop his game, the minutes restrictions are lifted on Embiid and Jahlil Okafor and the Sixers acquire a decent starting point guard.
  • Jakob Poeltl and fellow rookie Pascal Siakam have already been used as starters by the Raptors, notes Spencer Davies of Amicohoops. It’s a unique position for young players to get that opportunity on a team coming off the conference finals, and Poeltl addresses that topic in a wide-ranging interview. “It’s great for us to be out there and get the chance to learn,” he said. “Obviously, we had some injury problems — like, that played into it — but it’s great for [coach Dwane Casey] to be like, ‘Okay you know, I’ll give these young guys a chance. Let’s see what they’ve got.’ I think that shows a lot about him.”

Eastern Notes: Brown, Smith, Hawes

If the Sixers continue to lose games at their current rate, team executive Bryan Colangelo could press ownership to fire coach Brett Brown, Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. With the team winless to start the season despite the presence of center Joel Embiid, Brown may end up shouldering the blame for the team’s woes now that former GM Sam Hinkie is gone, the scribe adds. “Yeah, I’m aware of it,” Brown said regarding the added pressure to win this season. “I’m not young anymore. I come in here and I do my job. I know what we do at practice. I know what goes on behind the scenes. I know the preparation we put into about everything.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • J.R. Smith, who signed a four-year deal with the Cavaliers this offseason, wants to remain in Cleveland for the rest of his NBA career and beyond, Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal writes. “It makes no sense to go anywhere else,” Smith said. “To get treated the way we get treated here from the people, from the police, from everybody. There’s nothing but love here. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.”
  • The Knicks are a team rife with dysfunction after just six games this season and much of the blame should fall on team president Phil Jackson, Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post opines. The Post scribe calls out the executive for his stubborn insistence on running the triangle despite the players not buying into the system, as well as his puzzling decision to install assistant coach Kurt Rambis as the “defensive coordinator” despite him being an offensive specialist by trade and not having had success as a head coach in the NBA.
  • Hornets coach Steve Clifford is raving about Spencer Hawes‘ basketball IQ, something the player admits he has to rely on given that he is not an elite athlete, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer relays. “It’s his IQ. He understands basketball and has such a feel for the game. And he has a terrific skill level,” Clifford said. “He had 11 defensive rebounds [against the Pacers]. He’s always been a pretty good defensive rebounder, even for a center. He brings intelligence to the court every time he plays, which is important.”
  • The Pacers are struggling on the defensive end, something head coach Nate McMillan chalks up to the team’s new personnel not having great chemistry with one another yet, Mark Montieth of writes. “The offense normally is ahead of the defense when you start out,” McMillan said. “Most of the guys, that’s how they got here, their offensive skills. Defense requires you to commit, not only individually but collectively.”

And-Ones: Embiid, Okafor, D-League

The Sixers will re-evaluate Joel Embiid‘s minutes restriction in approximately six weeks, Dave McMenamin of relays. “As I understand it, [the medical staff] will not escalate [the restrictions] until Christmas and then it will only be judged,” Brown said before Saturday’s game against the Cavs. “It may stay the same then too.”

The team’s medical staff currently mandates that Embiid won’t play more than 24 minutes in a given game, and the Cameroon native isn’t thrilled about the restrictions. “I can only play 20 minutes,” Embiid lamented. “I felt like I could play more but you have to trust the process you have to trust those guys.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Conditioning remains an issue for both Embiid and Jahlil Okafor, McMenamin passes along in the same piece. “I think at times going beyond 4-5 minute segments is not good for them,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “I feel like fatigue sets in and given the amount of time that they’ve been able to play, practice, et cetera.” Okafor also has a mandated 24-minute restriction while he recovers from a knee injury.
  • The Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate, have waived Maurice Creek, Damontre Harris and Rasean Simpson, according to D-League Digest (Twitter link).
  • The Greensboro Swarm, the affiliate of the Hornets, have waived Ky Howard, Keala King, Ron Mvouika and Jamie Skeen, D-League Digest reports (Twitter link).

Sixers Notes: Ilyasova, Embiid, Okafor, Brown

After being traded four times since June of 2015, Ersan Ilyasova believes he might finally be with the right organization, relays Brian Seltzer of The Turkish power forward had just left the practice court in Oklahoma City on Tuesday when he was informed that he had been dealt to Philadelphia in exchange for Jerami Grant. He got a late flight to meet his new team in Charlotte and was in uniform for tonight’s game against the Hornets. “As soon as I start kind of thinking about it, I think it’s a really good situation,” Ilyasova said. “This team is building, they’ve got a lot of pieces, obviously, and being part of it is a huge thing.”

There’s more news tonight out of Philadelphia:

  • Sixers coach Brett Brown has been limited in the amount of time he can play big men Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor together because both are on minute restrictions, notes ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. Embiid is playing his first NBA games after missing two seasons with a twice-broken foot, and Okafor is being brought along slowly after knee surgery in March. Brown realizes the situation is temporary, but said it can be complicated to get Embiid and Okafor on the floor together. “You just feel like it is cookie-cutter stuff,” he said. “It is a very rigid road map and that is OK. Nobody is crying about it. It is a challenge.”
  • Embiid made a quick impression on Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing, who serves as an assistant with the Hornets, posts Tom Haberstroh on ESPN Now. After watching Embiid on film, Ewing exlaimed to head coach Steve Clifford, “Woah. This guy? He might be the most talented center in the game.”
  • Despite their wealth of young talent, the Sixers are still making familiar mistakes that cost them games, writes Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The latest example came Tuesday when Philadelphia let a big lead slip away in a loss to Orlando. “Every time you lose a close game, you wonder what you would do differently,” Brown said. “… I understand that we’re all looking at how do you close that game out, and I think that, even with a healthy group, the difference probably is that you have Ben Simmons with the ball, and I’m sure that Joel Embiid is right in that mix.”

Eastern Notes: MCW, Smith, Terry

The Pistons are in need of point guard help, but the team never called the Bucks about acquiring Michael Carter-Williams, Jake Fischer of reports (Twitter link). Milwaukee reportedly will send MCW to the Bulls.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Ish Smith has no hard feelings toward the Sixers, as Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sportsnet relays. “No, no, no, no, no,” Smith said of the possibility of ill feelings. “Everything was perfect. [My new deal] was done quick. I’m excited and I’m very, very happy about the decision. … Believe me, the city, I love the city here. I love the fans, they’ve been great. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.” Smith signed a three year, $18MM deal with the Pistons during the offseason.
  • Smith and Brett Brown have kept in touch and the Sixers coach remains a big fan of the point guard, Camerato adds in the same piece. “He’s got such an infectious personality. He’s really got charisma,” Brown said. “His mood never changed. He just was so solid in himself and had a bounce and a spirit and was happy. Just a wonderful teammate and just a real joy to coach.”
  • New addition Jason Terry believes the Bucks have a chance to do great things this season, as he explains on NBA TV (Twitter link). “We are young and dangerous at the core, but we have veteran experience… sky is the limit,” Terry said.

Sixers Notes: Rodriguez, Embiid, Okafor

The Sixers should maintain their patient approach and not look to acquire high priced veterans in order to produce more wins immediately, Derek Bodner of Philadelphia Magazine argues. Bodner believes the team shouldn’t react to Jerryd Bayless‘ injury by acquiring another veteran. Instead, it should take this season to figure out exactly what is has in Joel Embiid and the rest of its young talent.

Philadelphia was reportedly were interested in J.R. Smith before the guard re-signed with the Cavs. Philadelphia has the cap space and assets to make substantial moves, but Bodner cautions that the team shouldn’t make any deals that comprises its future flexibility.

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Sergio Rodriguez, who last played in the NBA during the 2009/10 season, hopes to play better this season than he did during his first stint in the league, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Rodriquez started for the Sixers during Saturday’s preseason games against Detroit and Brett Brown has high hopes for the 30-year-old. “He’s elusive in open court,” Brown said. “He’s got a feel. He’s slippery with his handle and his vision. So I want him to play more like he’s always played.”
  • Embiid appeared to injure his right foot during Saturday’s preseason game, but fortunately, he was able to remain in the game. The 22-year-old doesn’t see it as an issue going forward, Pompey relays in the same piece. “I’m fine,” Embiid said. “I twisted it a little bit, but I’m fine.”
  • While the team will remain cautious with Embiid going forward, the Cameroon native could play in both ends of back-to-backs this season, passes along. “There are some times just with normal aches and the other parts of his body that you pay attention. It’s still a 275-pound, 7-foot-2 man going up and down the court,” Brown said. “How about his motor, when he puts his mind to it? How about his lateral quickness, when he puts his mind to it? To get that stuff, just harder, longer, makes you think we have to take this course.”
  • Jahlil Okafor has been sidelined since undergoing surgery back in March to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, but the big man should be ready to play opening night, according to that same report.

Sixers Notes: Okafor, Noel, McConnell, Rodriguez

Sixers coach Brett Brown expects second-year center Jahlil Okafor to be ready by opening night, tweets Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. Okafor is still experiencing soreness in his right knee related to the operation he had in March. Brown said his progress is encouraging, but he will probably begin the season with a minutes restriction (Twitter link). The team is less optimistic about Nerlens Noel, who was scratched from a game last week with a strained groin and may not be able to play in the October 26th opener.

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • Brown is still working out roles for backup point guards T.J. McConnell and Sergio Rodriguez, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Jerryd Bayless, who signed a three-year, $27MM deal this summer, is still projected as the starter, although he will be sidelined for a while with a wrist injury. McConnell has been announced as the starting point guard for opening night, but Rodriguez will get the start in tonight’s preseason game with the Pistons. The coach warned fans not to read anything into the decisions. “There’s no sort of madness from a discipline standpoint, from a performance standout,” Brown said. “It’s just that we’ve got a few [preseason] games left. I want to see Sergio more at the start of a game with that group we have been looking at, bring T.J. off the bench and really let him be bothersome defensively as he is. That’s the only motive behind that.”
  • The Sixers are still planning to take it easy with Joel Embiid, but they haven’t ruled out playing him in back-to-back games, Pompey tweets. Philadelphia plans to keep Embiid on a minutes restriction to reduce the risk of problems with the foot injury that cost him his first two NBA seasons.
  • Former Sixers guard Pierre Jackson will play in Croatia this season, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Jackson signed with Cedevita Zagreb, the defending champions in Croatia. Philadelphia waived the 25-year-old point guard before the start of the past two seasons.

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