Perkins goes in on Brown for 'backwards' Game 2 decision

Brett Brown on the left, Kendrick Perkins on the right.
USA Today Sports Images

Kendrick Perkins hasn't exactly been impressed by the Sixers' first game-plus against the Celtics... and he also hasn't been afraid to voice his thoughts.

After Game 1, Perkins determined with his "real basketball mind" that Joel Embiid being on the floor helped the Celtics, a weird and incorrect take.

And ahead of Game 2, when Sixers head coach Brett Brown decided to put Matisse Thybulle in the starting lineup over Al Horford, Perkins again had a piping hot take:

Here's what Perkins had to say:

I mean, what else do we expect, though? Hey, listen - you know what would happen if you take Brett Brown's brain and put it in a bird? You know what that bird's gonna do, right? It's gonna fly backwards. He's really confused. He just don't get it, man. And this is the problem, when you're this confused. You're switching up your lineups after Game 1. And I thought Philly played pretty good. And this is the confusing part about Al Horford, where he doesn't know how to fit in, where to fit in at. He doesn't know his role. Brett Brown hasn't done a great job of identifying his role from the very start of the season. So it doesn't surprise me. 

I don't love every part of the rant, but Perkins' point about Horford's role with the Sixers is correct. Horford has been a misfit in the Philly offense (and defense, frankly) all season long, and while part of that falls on the overall fit problem with the roster, Brown has failed to find the best way to use Horford's skill set. That's a coaching failure.


However, putting Thybulle in the starting lineup was the correct decision. The rookie was the only Sixer who showed any ability to keep Jayson Tatum under wraps in Game 1, and with Gordon Hayward out of Game 2 and Marcus Smart in the starting lineup, Brown's decision to match that lineup change with one of his own made perfect sense.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Paul Hudrick explored the move in detail this week:

Brown admitted that he toyed with the notion of starting Thybulle. It made sense even before the series started given how small and dynamic the Celtics are. It seemed that Brown’s idea was to punish the Celtics’ lack of size by keeping Al Horford as the starting four.

In theory that made sense, but the opposite happened in Game 1. Horford looked out of place trying to guard the likes of Jaylen Brown. And he didn’t make his former team suffer any consequence of being small on the offensive end, going 3 of 7 for six points and turning the ball over three times. Horford was a minus-18 in 31 minutes.

Perkins will likely keep criticizing the Sixers until they have some success in the series, but this take feels like another miss.

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