This week’s star goes to Head Coach Brett Brown as Philadelphia finished the week 3 – 1. More importantly, for the first time in quite some time the boys resembled an NBA team. From a last second game winner to the Sixers’ first three game winning streak in four seasons, things look up.
In a 98 – 97 win against the New York Knicks the coach elected to not call a timeout with his club down by one and the clock winding down. Instead he choose to trust his team and that trust was rewarded with a win, courtesy of T.J. McConnell.
The coach has done a tremendous job in keeping his young team focused as they navigate through an unreal amount of hype for a 12 win club.
All season Brown has dealt with the problematic task of finding minutes for a talented but overcrowded frontcourt, all while continuing to satisfy managements demands and if possible win a couple of games. For the first time this season he managed to do just that.
Nerlens Noel and Dario Saric both seem to have found their roles on the second unit, thanks to Brown’s commitment to the matter. Noel has also improved in finding his sweet spots on the floor, going 6 for 11 on jump shots. Not to be outdone Saric has continued to develop and his all-around game helped the 76ers in wins against Brooklyn (18 points and five rebounds) and Charlotte (15 points and six rebounds).
In the week’s final game in Washington Philadelphia’s coach started Jahlil Okafor, when many thought Noel would get the start for a resting Joel Embiid. Okafor responded with 26 points and played spirited ball. Something you would not have expected considering his streak of four D.N.Ps.
Each player’s development and team first attitude (at least publicly) is a testament to Brown and his commitment to staying the course. The three game winning streak was a result of his efforts.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
It’s not how you start, but how you finish.
In sports, regardless of the game or team, the goal is to start fast.
To come out swinging to let your opponent know they’re in for a long day. This philosophy did not manifest itself in each of the 76ers’ three wins, as they trailed in two of those contests at the end of the first quarter (at Brooklyn 24 – 27 and vs. New York 27 – 32).
However they would go on to outscore each of those very opponents in the fourth quarter on their way to victory. The only game this did not hold true was in Philadelphia’s one loss against the Washington Wizards where they were outscored 22 – 23 in the fourth quarter. The game was long decided before then.
For the season the Sixers rank 24th in first quarter points dropping 25.3 per, compared to dead last (30th) in the fourth quarter with 23.4 points per. This week they finished 17th in first quarter points and 19th in fourth quarter points, which is up from their season averages.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
The Streak Continues
The highlight of this week was a thrilling contest against the 24 – 12 visiting Milwaukee Bucks. The 76ers were without Dr. J and riding an eight game winning streak.
The Bucks pushed Philly to the limit, but an unlikely hero by the name of Marc Iavaroni would seal the contest late. Milwaukee would enter the fourth quarter leading Philadelphia 97 – 91, and would hold a 121 – 116 lead with a little over a minute remaining. However a late bucket by Sixers’ guard Andrew Toney (27 points) and two clutch free throws from Iavaroni would secure Philly’s ninth straight win of the season.
The 76ers would finish the week undefeated at 4 – 0 and stretch their winning streak to 11 games and counting.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: