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 NBA.com 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.”

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