Brett Brown, the long-suffering head coach of the Sixers, finally got win No. 100 despite the team’s best efforts in the fourth quarter.
Brett Brown joined the Philadelphia 76ers as head coach way back in August of 2013, one of the first hires by former GM Sam Hinkie. When he was hired by the organization, Brown knew that there would be a lot of pain before there would be any pleasure. Three years of tanking, first-round picks who couldn’t play due to injuries and a endlessly rotating roster of castoffs and D-League talent would be enough to break most men and have them throw in the towel.
Obviously Brett Brown isn’t most men.
Since joining the Sixers, Brown has coached the team in 377 NBA games. He has lost 277 of them, 72 during the disastrous 2015-16 season alone.
On Friday night, Brown finally got win No. 100 thanks to a 103-97 victory over the Miami Heat.
And it only took him five years.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Sixers and put the team over the .500 mark for the season once again with a record of 25-24.
Joel Embiid, who was playing in the first half of what everyone hopes will be his first ever back-to-back, finished the night with 17 points and 11 rebounds, good for his 24th double-double of the season. Ben Simmons led all scorers with 20 points and added 6 rebounds and 5 assists while Robert Covington seemingly found his stroke again, scoring 13 on the night including 3 from beyond the arc. Dario Saric also had a double-double, scoring 17 points and adding 10 boards and 4 assists.
Despite being up by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter, the Sixers once again almost let this one slip away. Miami went on a 17-0 tear and got the 76er lead down to five points, but thankfully a pair of scores from Simmons and Embiid ensured that Brown would get his 100th win.
While many fans were hoping to see sparks fly once again between Embiid and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, they never really materialized. Whiteside got into foul trouble early and ended up only playing 18 minutes due to an illness. He totaled 4 points and 9 rebounds on the night.
But the big story here is Brown at long last getting win No. 100. It was a long time coming for a head coach that came from a San Antonio Spurs organization that only knows how to win. It is great to see that it looks like the team has finally turned a corner and Brown at long last has the tools he needs to show people that he can coach a winner and not just manage a tanking franchise.
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Up next for the Sixers is a road date with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are currently three games ahead of the Sixers in the East so this contest could have huge ramifications down the road for the NBA postseason.
Because playoff seeding is something Sixers fans and Brett Brown get to worry and think about now.
It’s about time.