Jimmy Butler Deserves The Contract
“Pay Jimmy Butler” is what the tune is with the Philadelphia 76ers fan base, as it should be. The man was absolutely tenacious, aggressive, and as Brett Brown mentioned about him, Butler “embodies the spirit” of Philadelphia. Joel Embiid said of bringing back Butler, “It’s important. He did everything he could. That’s the type of guy you want by your side. I am sure they are going to do the right thing.”
I wrote a piece not too long ago about how the Sixers need to make it a priority to re-sign Butler this off-season and my opinion hasn’t changed the slightest. Butler really appreciates Brown as well and seems to think highly of him as a head coach in Philadelphia. “I think he is going to be here for a long time,” Butler said about Brown. When asked about this Sixers team being built to win a championship, Butler stated, “It is. To think that this roster may not be the same next year, that’s what really hurts.” Jimmy, if this team is built to win a championship and this roster not being the same “really hurts,” then I would really love to see you back next season to make another run for the NBA Finals. Another thing about this roster that I would like to see stay the same is the coaching, which I am happy to see Butler’s relationship with Brown budding.
Brett Brown Will Be Back
If you think Brett Brown should be fired, go ahead and leave the comments below and I’ll be sure to just shake my head about it. He was able to coach players with personalities such as Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler without any real hiccups. No locker room cancers. To play close to game seven in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and lose on a “quadruple doink” shot on the rim from Kawhi Leonard, winning this game simply just wasn’t in the cards. Brown coached this team to a hard-fought run in the NBA playoffs and should be rewarded with another return in 2020 to the Philadelphia 76ers franchise as the head coach. If another coach were to come in, I’m not sure how the players would respond, what players would come back, and what leverage the Sixers would have with bringing in key free agents. With Butler not secured and his relationship with Brown being a positive one, it would behoove of the Sixers to keep Brown around. Some philosophies need to be tinkered with, which includes the number of times Embiid is shooting from beyond the arc. However, game six and seven, if there was any real smoke to the “Brown being fired” rumor, saved his job.
Mentoring Ben Simmons
This has to happen. We’ve all witnessed what Ben Simmons can do when he is aggressive. Joel Embiid commented, “He has a lot of potential. There is so much more that he can do. That’s my brother, he’s great. We want him to be aggressive all the time.” In dissecting that, I agree that Simmons has a ton of potential and anyone saying to “trade Simmons” is overreacting. However, in saying that, Simmons needs to work with mentors that the NBA has available.
His brothers aren’t getting the job done in teaching Simmons how to shoot. Combining the ability to create and convert shots alongside Simmons transitional offense and defensive play, Simmons could actually help the Philadelphia 76ers to a NBA Finals appearance instead of being a loud scapegoat when something goes wrong. This is why it is urgent that Simmons gets in contact with former NBA players that want to help mentor and fine-tune his game, such as Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. “I definitely believe that they’ll go get a championship if those two stick together,” said Amir Johnson of Embiid and Simmons. This is the core of “The Process” in Philadelphia. Players on the team know more than we do, so I clearly am inclined to believe the teammates around each other in the locker room. No one in this city should give up on Simmons.
Maintaining A Productive Bench
Mike Scott and James Ennis III were two players that did a lot for the Philadelphia 76ers off of the bench. I would have like to see more of TJ McConnell because I think he is a good bench player who cleans up on hustle stats, such as steals, assists, and can have a streaky mid-range shot. However, this bench needs to have a lot more help. Acquiring a center that provides formidable defense off the bench is something that is required. The Sixers front office are really going to have to look at shooting percentages, forced turnovers, and plus-minus differentials to add depth. A couple of players from the Delaware Bluecoats, Sixers developmental affiliate made it to the bench for the playoffs as well. They saw some playing time against the Brooklyn Nets, but as the Sixers advanced against the Toronto Raptors, it was very easy to tell what bench should have been superior. A player here or there could have made all the difference of continuing on with the 2019 NBA playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks.
However the way the off-season shakes out, I am very happy of this Philadelphia 76ers team. I feel more confident after this year in comparison to last years elimination against the Boston Celtics. These things all have to happen to get the Sixers to the next level. Keeping Brett Brown, bringing back Jimmy Butler, acquiring a player to play solid defense off bench at center, and Ben Simmons developing a jump shot can happen in the off-season. I just really have the feeling that the Sixers are closer to getting to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals then to the NBA Finals than they are given credit for. Onward to next year…