I’m going to miss Brett Brown. I really thought he was a decent coach. Maybe not the best one, but definitely at least average. But I definitely understand why they fired him. The Sixers’ struggles were in no small part because of him. I heard he was a nice guy, so hopefully he finds another place to land on his feet.
But firing Brett Brown wasn’t the problem I had with the Sixers’ personnel decisions today. Why did Elton Brand not go? How can you excuse his pathetic excuse for team-building acceptable? He built a team that can’t shoot! He built a team that was ready for Milwaukee and no one else. Al Horford was the anti-Giannis. Ben Simmons was the second lockdown option. Joel Embiid was supposed to protect the rim.
That’s a good strategy in theory, but you have to beat other teams to get to Milwaukee. Defense can only take you so far when no one can shoot, or even create offense. Each of the Sixers starters held an offensive rating anywhere from average to below average in the NBA. That’s not going to fly. A team that can only play on one end of the floor isn’t going to contend for championships, period.
I blame Elton Brand for the team construction and as I see it, he should be let go as well, because he was the one who gave Brett Brown that collection of misfit toys to work with. Bringing in Jimmy Butler was a shrewd move, and I commend him for that. But shipping away nearly every decent piece to acquire Tobias Harris? Signing Al Horford? Letting Miami get away with stealing Butler so that the Sixers could get the slightly above-average Josh Richardson?
To his credit, Brand did offer Butler the maximum amount of money the Sixers could give. And it looks like Jimmy wanted to run his own show in Miami. But the way Brand constructed the team this offseason after Butler’s decision gave them no flexibility and forced Brett Brown to have to play the extremely disappointing Al Horford for far more than he should have.
Make the heads roll in the front office. Let Brett Brown go. But don’t give Elton Brand a free pass for backing the team into a corner.