76ers

Brett Brown Clinic open to local basketball coaches

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Brett Brown Clinic open to local basketball coaches

This week we explained how Brett Brown kept the Sixers together during a 47-199 record in his first three seasons (see story). Brown will be sharing his coaching knowledge next month at his third annual Coaches Clinic.

The free, interactive event will take place the evening of Sept. 12 at the Sixers training complex in Camden, N.J. It is open to basketball coaches of all ages from the youth, high school and college levels.

Registration information is available here.

Brown is entering his fifth season as head coach of the Sixers. He was a member of the Spurs' coaching staff for over 11 years and also coached internationally. 

Sixers forced to wait for next opponent after Celtics-Bucks Game 7

Sixers forced to wait for next opponent after Celtics-Bucks Game 7

Waiting is the hardest part.

That’s the situation the Sixers are dealing with regarding their second-round opponent. They will face the winner of the series between Boston and Milwaukee, which is headed to a deciding Game 7 after the Bucks’ 97-86 home win on Thursday night. 

Game 7 is set for 8 p.m. on Saturday at TD Garden.

The Sixers have been idle since their Game 5 victory to eliminate the Miami Heat on Tuesday. It marked the franchise’s first series win since 2012.

The layoff hasn’t been a bother to the Sixers, who say their main focus is on themselves no matter who the opponent ends up being in round No. 2 (see story).

“We’ll manage whatever the Milwaukee-Boston tells us tonight, and that’s not on my mind,” head coach Brett Brown said after Thursday’s practice regarding the team getting rusty. 

“I thought we sweated and competed. I think we chose a tiny few things on defense and a tiny few things on offense that are helpful no matter if it’s Boston or Milwaukee. Some of it, which is always great, there was carryover from the Miami series. That’s kind of the holy grail. You can find stuff that’s going to do you well in the next series and tremendous carryover. We went there today. I thought today was good.”

Sixers focused more on themselves than Round 2 opponent

Sixers focused more on themselves than Round 2 opponent

CAMDEN, N.J. — Tuesday’s series-clinching victory was a monumental achievement for the Sixers. And while the team briefly savored Brett Brown’s first playoff series win as a head coach in memorable fashion, it was back at practice Thursday afternoon, with its focus shifted to Round 2.

“It was fun,” Joel Embiid said of the celebration with Brown. “I was happy for him because obviously after what he’s been through, two years ago he had a team that only won 10 games and this year he’s at, what, 56? I was really happy for him, and that was the first playoff series that he won, so it was something we felt like we needed to celebrate. But we’re on to the next one.”

That next opponent will be either the Celtics or the Bucks. Boston leads the series, 3-2, and can advance with a win in Game 6 Thursday night at 8 p.m. If the Celtics win, the Sixers will play Game 1 of the second round in Boston on Saturday night.

“Because we don’t know who you’re going to play, you don’t have that luxury of time,” Brown said. “No matter who you play, you better get back in transition defense and you better rebound. But it’s easier for sure when you can zoom in and say, ‘OK, you got Giannis, or you got Marcus Smart.’”

Though they don’t have the advantage of knowing their opponent, the Sixers do have a few extra days to recover from what was an extremely physical series against the Heat. They also have a chance to hone their own sets and to sharpen their execution. Ersan Ilyasova mentioned that, among other things, the Sixers worked on creating space for Embiid post-ups.

“At the end of the day, whoever comes out, I think it’s up to us,” Ilyasova said. “Recently, the way we’ve played, we have to focus on ourselves and if we do the right things, it’s going to be in our favor.”

Boston or Milwaukee is just not the primary concern at the moment. Sure, the Sixers will tune into Game 6 with interest. Embiid said he’ll be watching at home as usual with Markelle Fultz and Justin Anderson. But the intense, team-specific preparation won’t start in earnest until that series concludes.

“We just prepare for both teams,” Embiid said. “We’re going to be ready for whoever. We played them in the regular season, so we have a lot of scouting reports, so I’m sure the coaches will do their job to get us ready.”

The Sixers went 1-3 against the Celtics in the regular season, while they had a 2-2 record against the Bucks. However, Kyrie Irving, who is out for the playoffs with a left patella injury, played in three of those matchups with Boston. And the Sixers crushed the Bucks in the regular-season finale, 130-95. Regardless of who they play, the Sixers will be favored. If they play close to the level they’re capable of, they should advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Playing in his first postseason, Embiid gave the mature answer of a seasoned veteran when asked if he’d prefer to face Milwaukee or Boston.

“It’s the playoffs. I don’t think it matters,” Embiid. “As long as you play your game and stick to your concepts, you’re going to be fine.”