76ers Blog: Brown Hopes Truth Helps, Doesn't Hurt
11/5/2013 3:36:00 PM
'We know his demeanor' - Spencer Hawes
The 76ers and rookie head coach Brett Brown had their latest opportunity to experience another 'first' together on Tuesday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Following the team's 110-90 defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Brown was forced to conduct a practice on the heels of a regular season loss. That's something Brown didn't have to do after the Sixers' opening three games.
Brown has been around the Sixers on a regular basis for the better part of the last two months, a solid chunk of time for both him and the members of his roster to get to know each others' personalities. From the outset of training camp, Brown has indicated a preference to be upfront with his players in order to help them better understand what's needed for their development.
Leading up to Monday's match-up with Golden State, Brown had been consistent in doing business with an honest approach, so it came as no surprise at the Sixers' practice facility that he was frank in breaking down the setback to the Warriors.
'We know his demeanor,' said center Spencer Hawes, who was held to a single-game season-low five points and eight rebounds on Monday. Hawes sounded as if he appreciated Brown's feedback. 'He's realistic. There's no beating around the bush.'
'My first reaction was, no, don't be delicate, be direct and be honest,' Brown said. 'We came in and we weren't good. We were sloppy, didn't guard the way we should have. It's just facts. You coach them, you help them. You tell them the truth.'
The Sixers are in the midst of a busy early stretch of their schedule; they're playing five games over the first eight days of the season. Brown kept the club on the PCOM practice floor for roughly 90 minutes today, with the Sixers having another game looming Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards.
'They know we're being direct and trying to get them better,' said Brown. 'They're a coachable group.'
Brown has already applied the 'coachable' label to a player who's not even at his disposal right now. Still, according to Brown, Nerlens Noel - sidelined since February while rehabbing from reconstructive left knee surgery - has been receptive to undergoing a significant individual 'rebuild' with his shooting form.
'He's great. He's wide eyed and open. He's a willing learner. Because he knows,' Brown said this afternoon, with Noel taking shots behind him. 'He's looking for advice and for someone to help him, and that's my job. I'll be really disappointed if in April we don't look back and say we didn't make good ground with his shot.
Brown said that Noel would ultimately like to model his game after 'turn-and-face, jump-shooting bigs' like Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett. The Sixers staff plans to first have Noel work on one-handed close-range shooting, before the project broadens its focus to concentrate on release points, footwork, and hand positioning.