Brett Brown, the new Philadelphia 76ers head coach, repeatedly emphasized how critical fitness and being in shape would be for this new look 76er franchise. He wants to run an “up and down the court” style and to do that he needs all his players to be in the best shape of their lives.
Brown knows that he, in all likelihood, is in for a very rough 2013 season. The Sixers are building this thing from the ground up and simply lack the talent or experience to compete in the Eastern Conference. What he can control is the players effort and want to as well as being in tip-top shape. This builds a foundation and instills a work ethic in players going forward. This is exactly what Brown has already sought out to do.
Brown and new GM Sam Hinkie want to build something special and lasting in Philadelphia. They know however that takes time and patience. There will have to be some growing pains, a period of bad basketball, and a ping pong ball falling the right way for Philly to get back on the basketball map.
Until that time comes next May when the fate of the future of the Sixers franchise can change with the bounce of a ball, the franchise’s key focus will be on player development, fitness and work ethic. This is certainly the right direction for such a young basketball team.
There are already some building blocks in pace. Nerlens Noel can be a dominant defensive center in the league a rarity in today’s game, and if he ever develops an offensive game he can be a special player. Michael Carter-Williams has the chance to be a special point guard if he further develops a shot and cuts down on turnovers.
As we all know the Sixers also have two potential lottery picks in the stacked 2014 NBA Draft. They already have a few pieces to build around in Noel and MCW. The coaching staff’s focus is to lay the ground work now and reap the benefits later in what could potentially be a team stacked with talent come this time next year. So far, so good.