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Sixers Notebook: Brett Brown thinks his new roster still needs time to develop – The Trentonian

Nov 11th, 2019

PHILADELPHIA Three times last season, the 76ers effectively tried a different look. Three times, they never really did have the time to get it all right.

So why would it have been any different this season, head coach Brett Brown has been wondering, with the Sixers having been made over once again?

Why wouldn't it take more than the eight games his team had played before a 114-106 victory over the Charlotte Hornets Sunday night, to figure it all out?

Talent does not trump time, said Brown, on the No. 1 reality he'd learned on a recent 1-3 road trip. It's true. It's a long season and there is an emotional and mental stability.

If that was not his message to the players, who would lug a three-game losing streak into their first home game since Oct. 30, it was his way of coping with a lukewarm 5-3 start.

The Sixers played two of the four games on the trip without Joel Embiid, who was serving a suspension for his fight with the Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns. They played the last one, and most of the final two, without Ben Simmons, who sprained his right shoulder.

Simmons did not play Sunday.

Theres always going to be bumps throughout the NBA season, said Tobias Harris, before dropping 25 points against the Hornets. Its a matter of how you really respond. If you look at that whole road trip, we couldve honestly gone 4-0 and wed still be undefeated and everybody would be sitting here maybe saying were the greatest team in America. Smiling, he added, You take that what it is. You take the 1-3 record. Theres no need to panic on it.

Its better to have those types of bumps in the road a little bit early. We'll just regroup and get better and get healthy at the same time.

Brown acknowledged that he was happy to be back at the Wells Fargo Center. But he knows there is never much rest in the NBA.

Its a water-dripping-on-your-forehead league, he said. It just doesnt stop.

Nor does time.

There are some wrinkles, he said, that we have to iron out.

At the end of the road trip, Embiid appeared to lack energy. How did that happen, after all that dieting and conditioning he'd claimed to do in the offseason?

It's as simple as I've said, Brown said. He missed that period of time (with the suspension). We played over in the West and in the mountains. And let's see what he does tonight.

Embiid played 25:48 Sunday, collecting 18 points and nine rebounds, then reporting to the Sixers that he would not be doing interviews.

Furkan Korkmaz continues to develop as a heavy contributor. Sunday, he played 27:57 and shot 7-for-14, including 3-for-8 from distance.

Right now, the team is trusting me and the coaching staff is trusting me, Korkmaz said. When I step on the court, I know I can make shots and that I have to play defense. Everybody has ups and downs in their game. But I feel good right now.

Without a three-point shooter of grand accomplishment, Brown has said he wants to cultivate one. He is giving that chance to Korkmaz, who is 19-for-42 from the arc, including a game-winner in Portland.

The first thing is the mentality, Brown said. I have labeled him a 'bomber.' I said I need to grow that type of player coming off the bench. He hears those words often, then he came in and made a big shot to win a game in Portland, and that boosts his confidence. Fantastic.

The route to where he was to where he has come is quite a story. I look at him as someone we have nurtured and grown. And now he has become a greatly improved defender. With his length, he is good in the pick and roll defense. It all kinds of points back to confidence.

Whatever happened to Matisse Thybulle?

A regular contributor early, the rookie played just 2:34 Sunday after not playing at all in the previous game, Friday night in Denver.

Asked what he has learned from that, Thybulle said, From what? My new role on the bench? He then quickly gathered some belongings and hustled out of the room.

Some of it is circumstance, Brown said. Without Ben, what are you going to do? I opted to go with the two small guards (Raul Neto and Trey Burke). And the ripple effects are sometimes punishing. It's part of the challenge of this team. It's got an optionality menu for me. I have pieces. And I have the responsibility to tell him that.

Brown is confident that the rookie has heard the message.

I think so, he said. He is on a high-level team. We have direct, honest conversation with him. He understands the deal. It's part of his world. You tell him, 'You better learn this now.' If that situation was repetitive, repetitive, repetitive, then it is a different conversation. But it certainly isn't dramatic as I see it after a few games.

The Sixers will entertain the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night at 7.

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Sixers Notebook: Brett Brown thinks his new roster still needs time to develop - The Trentonian

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