Each week, we'll ask questions about the Sixers to our resident basketball analysts and see what they have to say.
Running the Give and Go this week are CSNPhilly.com Sixers Insider Dei Lynam, CSNPhilly.com columnist John Gonzalez and CSNPhilly.com producer/reporter John Finger.
How do you rate Brett Brown's first half of the season?
For Brett Brown and the job his staff has done so far this season, that deserves an A.
It is not easy to keep a locker room together and effort consistent when success does not come often. Still, Brown has found a way to roll out a team that always fights and plays together.
The Sixers are the youngest team in the NBA and their inexperience and lack of talent is clear on many nights. But they manage to deliver a product that shows they are working toward getting better each day.
In addition, Brown’s regime has preached development since Day 1 and it has been plenty evident this season.
Hollis Thompson, an undrafted rookie, has started 18 games. Elliot Williams has gone from first-round washout to earning minutes in the rotation. Dewayne Dedmon is another undrafted rookie who the Sixers took a chance on and their investment has paid off in his limited time with the team.
Brown has patience, a plan and perseverance. He has not strayed from any of that so far in his first season as Sixers head coach.
I was, and remain, someone who'd like to see the Sixers land high in the lottery. But there's only so much you can do on the tanking front. You can employ players you don't think are very good, but you can't tell them to lose on purpose, and you can't instruct the coach to blow it either.
Brown employs a style that should favor opponents. Playing at pace does that on most nights. (The math holds that the more possessions each team has, the less likely it is that random/fluky plays influence outcomes. Put another way: Increased opportunity favors talent.)
But there have been plenty of nights when the Sixers and Brown have overachieved. That's a credit to Brown. He's done a good job this year -- even if the ping pong people, myself included, would rather he didn't.
Brown has something of a Charlie Manuel quality to him in that his players trust him, believe in him and, importantly, like him.
Brown and his system have given the Sixers a chance to win games when maybe the roster does not. Plus, with 14 wins from a team that gives 21 minutes a night to Thompson, maybe Brown ought to get Coach of the Year.