Blogs > Sixers Dish

A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Monday, September 30, 2013

Brett Brown weighs in on the transition 3

(Associated Press)

To this point, the 76ers have not allowed reporters to see any of their offensive or defensive sets in training camp. All that’s been seen by the media is free throws and cool-down stretches at the end of the team’s practice sessions.

Most players have said first-year coach Brett Brown, who’s been unable to identify his team’s top shooter, will favor an offense that scores in transition, uses the team’s youth and speed to its advantage and opts against a half-court set. So it would stand to reason that transition 3-pointers will factor into that plan.

Not so fast, said Brown.

“How deflating is that to a team that just busted their tails and played defense and somebody jacks up a 3 and it’s not their shot?” Brown said after Sunday’s morning session. “I don’t care what analytics have to say about that. I get it as a head coach. That’s not going to be a good shot from time to time. You can’t quantify that with a number. It’s a feeling and it’s a balance with all of that. We were talking a lot about 3s and I wanted to go on the record and say that.”

That statement comes as a shock for two reasons: First, it comes as a contrast to what his players (and Brown himself) have said about the brand of offense the Sixers will play. And secondly, it contradicts the analytics movement that Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie preaches.

Without seeing the Sixers in live-action practice, there’s no telling what Brown is doing behind closed doors, who his shooters are, who’s getting the ball on the fastbreak or how they’re attacking the rim in transition. There are tons of intangibles at play, though Brown’s words seem rather definitive, especially only three days into camp.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Owner Josh Harris: 'I love the Sixers in Philly. I'm committed to it.'

(Christopher A. Vito)

76ers owner Josh Harris covered a lot of ground Sunday in his State of the Sixers address, including offering a response to fans who questioned his purchase last month of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and what impact that would have on their team.

Check out Monday’s Delco Times for a full report, but for now, here are a few select snippets:

On expectations for the 2013-14 season: “We’re really putting the pieces in place to build a strong foundation for a consistently winning, championship-winning team. That’s been my goal. I’ve kind of always had that vision and now we’re doing it. I’m very excited about where we are.”

On Andrew Bynum: “Sometimes in sports, there’s an element of randomness. Going for Andrew Bynum was the right decision because it’s very tough to get a player of that caliber. We did a bunch of work and his health problems ended up being much worse than we thought, than anyone thought. The decision was fine. I’m a big boy. We’re big boys. We’re adults. We made a decision and it didn’t work out. I’m not discouraged.”

On his purchase of the Devils: “I understand if you are born and bred and live in Philadelphia, I can certainly understand that you’re an all-Philly fan. And so I acknowledge that. My answer to the fans is, you know, I love the Sixers in Philly. I’m committed to it. I have personal ties in Philly through my mom and in Newark through my dad. The fact that I also own a hockey team in Newark doesn’t change at all my commitment to the city, the Sixers and basketball. I’m here, on a Sunday, with my family. I’ve been at the games. I’ll be at the games. The number of hours I’ve spent putting in place Scott and Sam and Brett was enormous. I’m totally focused on the Sixers and won’t change one iota how driven I am to make this team a championship team.”

On whether he favors basketball or hockey: “I love both sports. Historically, I’m more of a basketball fan.”

On focusing on next year’s draft: “There are many ways to acquire good NBA talent. Certainly the draft is one good effective way. There are other ways – there’s free agency, trades. Andrew Bynum, we did not draft. I think we’ve shown we will spend and be aggressive when we see opportunities. … We’re going to position ourselves for all of those opportunities and take advantage of them aggressively. That certainly showed last season. We spent a lot of money and didn’t have a lot of results. We’re big boys. And we’ll do it again if we see the right opportunity.”

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Slimmed-down Khalif Wyatt looking for his niche in Sixers coach Brett Brown's system


From last year’s Temple roster to this year’s 76ers training-camp roster, there is no alteration to Khalif Wyatt’s weight. But the combo guard swears he’s gotten himself in better shape – and he sure looks the part.

Wyatt, who signed a partially guaranteed, multi-year contract this month, is attempted to play his way into the Sixers’ rotation. Shouldn’t be difficult, considering how young this team is and how needy for offense it will be. In his final season at Temple, Wyatt averaged 20.5 points per game en route to winning Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year honors.

That’s why Wyatt, a Norristown native, is convinced he needs to be in better shape.

“Coach (Brett) Brown wants me to make sure I’m in the best shape possible,” Wyatt said the other day. “He understands I’m getting in better shape, but he wants me in better shape. He wants to keep pushing me, keep pushing me, keep using the word ‘development,’ and wants me to keep developing my body and developing my game.”

Wyatt contended that he could have been in better shape at Temple.

“Somehow I got by,” he said. “Now it’s the next level. You’re not going to be able to get by unless you’re in tip-top shape. I took a concerted effort in my body (after the Orlando Summer League) and I still have a lot of work to do.

Wyatt led the Sixers’ OSL team in scoring – something that wouldn’t be frowned upon with the regular-season version of the club.

As for what position he will play under Brown, Wyatt said he’s unsure. He played the point at Temple, evolving into more of a scoring 1-guard with the Owls. With Syracuse rookie Michael Carter-Williams likely to start at point guard, Wyatt will take any spot he can get.

“I’ve always been better with the ball in my hands,” Wyatt said, “but at this level, somebody else could have the ball in their hands.”

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Villanova's Curtis Sumpter could be next to join Brett Brown's staff

(Villanova Sports)

Villanova product Curtis Sumpter, who attended the 76ers’ training camp opener Saturday, could be joining first-year coach Brett Brown’s staff with the Sixers.

“It’s looking like that,” Brown said.

Brown said the 29-year-old Sumpter, upon being officially hired, would handle player development and video room duties.

“He’s come in to look at a combination development role and video intern role, so it’s a hybrid,” Brown said of Sumpter. “He’ll spend time in the video room, learning the NBA and helping us out on the court guarding people. A little bit of coaching, but a little bit of everything. I feel like I see something special in him, with his eyes and his demeanor. 

“He’s a high-character guy, and I’m happy to groom him, but he’s under review at the moment.”

(Christopher A. Vito)
Sumpter had been working at Villanova since August 2012, as a student-athlete development assistant under coach Jay Wright. The forward played with the Wildcats for four seasons in five years, from 2002-2007, due to injuries. He finished with 1,651 points and 794 rebounds.

His post-college career also included professional stops in Germany and France.

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Sixers add two more to camp roster

The Sixers are maxed out, taking their training camp roster to the league limit of 20 players by signing center Solomon Alabi and forward Nayal Koshwal.

Alabi, who stands 7-1, 250, split last season between NDBL franchise Idaho Stampede and Greek League club Ikaros Chalkidas. The 25-year-old was the 50th overall pick by Dallas in the 2010 draft.

Koshwal, 6-10, 255, bounced around basketball’s minor leagues last season. The 25-year-old played his college ball at DePaul.

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