Eastern Notes: Brown, Sixers, Heat, Celtics

The job of Sixers coach Brett Brown, who was brought to Philadelphia because of his specialty in player development, is to be patient, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. With their loss to the Mavs last night, the Sixers own a record of 0-16 this season. Moore believes Joel Embiid is the only player on the roster whom the Sixers could build a contending team around but other players on the roster, such as Tony Wroten, Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, could be productive players on a winning team.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Although the Sixers could help themselves by adding veteran players to mentor their young roster, that might not be a good idea, opines Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pompey argues that most of the veteran players’ main concern is winning at this point in their careers and without being close to contending for even a playoff spot, they could begin to get restless on a losing team. “That is one of the benefits of having youth,” Brown said. “They are all-in. They come with spirit and energy. They are not deflated easily. And with a senior team, a more veteran team, I would not want that.”
  • The Heat are not maximizing Luol Deng‘s abilities within the team’s offense, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Winderman cites Deng’s improved shot from three-point range as reason to involve him in the offense more frequently. Deng is shooting 40.9% from behind the arc this season, up from his career average of 33.2%.
  • The Celtics admire how the Spurs sustain success and have at least one player, Rajon Rondo, who knows how to maintain that level of play, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. “The plays they make, I’m sure Pops [head coach Gregg Popovich] don’t even have to call those plays,” Rondo said. “Once upon a time we had chemistry like that. Kevin [Garnett], Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and other guys, Perk [Kendrick Perkins], we had been playing together, had four or five training camps together.” Head coach Brad Stevens admitted that the Spurs have some influence on how the current Celtics team plays. “They’ve impacted some of what we do offensively, certainly,” said Stevens, referring to the Celtics playing with great spacing akin to San Antonio. “It’s a fun way to play.  And it’s fun to watch. I don’t think you can ever try and be someone else. You have to be your best you. But you can take tidbits from people.”
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