As of February 4th, 2020, the 76ers are 6th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 31-20. They are also, as of late, looking like one of the more inconsistent teams in the NBA, winning two games here, losing two there, winning 4 here, losing 3 there. They are never on a huge winning streak, and once one starts to build up, they lose multiple games in a row. I don’t know if it’s a mindset issue or not. The only problem I see on the court is the insane amount of minutes the starters constantly play. On Saturday night vs the Celtics, the 76ers lost by 21 points! A complete blowout! Yet, Ben Simmons still played 37 minutes! Brett Brown finally took out the starters with just 3 minutes and 38 seconds left, down 18! They should have been taken out midway through the 4th quarter, not with nearly 3 minutes left! I know, it’s a difference of just over 2 minutes, but Brett Brown needs to realize when the game is over. Just a couple of extra minutes to a player can cause an injury, or it can drain them that much more on a back to back. Brett Brown also has a tendency to play players who aren’t playing well for many minutes. I’ve seen Tobias Harris have off nights multiple times, yet he will play 36 minutes that game. If a player isn’t playing well offensively and not an amazing defender, they need to play less minutes. If a game is a blowout with 6 minutes left, play the young guys who don’t get many minutes so they get their confidence just from being on the court. With all that being said, should Brett Brown be fired? If so, who could replace him?
Personally, I think Brett Brown should be fired if the 76ers do not make the conference finals. Or, if they make it, they need to put up a fight. Coming into this season, the 76ers were projected to be a top 5 team in the entire league! Now, they aren’t even top 5 in their own conference! This team has so much talent to perform well, regardless of fit. But, I do believe fit is a big issue, but I have stated that multiple times, both in articles, and my podcast. If the front office makes no changes, Brett Brown still needs to be able to try to make something work. But, if he gets fired after this season, I think these 4 coaches would be great fits for the 76ers head coaching position:
- Jerry Stackhouse
Out of the 4 candidates I have, I think Jerry Stackhouse is the worst option. He was a great defensive coach with the Raptors 905, the G League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, but they also had the slowest pace in the G League. The 76ers need a coach who can keep the pace high, and has a more offensive mindset, since the Sixers have great defenders as is. The reason I think he would be a decent candidate for the 76ers, is because of his aggressive personality. Ben Simmons recently called the team “soft” after a blowout loss to the Miami Heat, and Stackhouse would fit that immediately. The team may not like it at first, since they are a younger team, but it will help them have a killer mentality and will help them be more confident on the court
- Jay Wright
In 2016, Wright told Sports Illustrated, “Villanova basketball is mostly the little things that aren’t on the stat sheet that make a difference.” He mainly focuses on things like extra passes, screen assists, paint passes, offensive rebounds, and outlet passes. And that’s just on the offensive end. What I see here is a coach who wants great team basketball, likes a large amount of effort at all times, and likes kick-outs to shooters. If the Sixers make the right moves before the trade deadline or this offseason, they could build the perfect team for Jay Wright to coach.
- Jason Kidd
With a young team who wants to just get better and win championships early, Jason Kidd would be perfect for them. He coached Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, Malcolm Brogdon, and Thon Maker, and made them decent players at the very least in that time. He is also, like Stackhouse, a tough coach who pushes his players to make them better players, by reaching their true potential. Maybe he can get Ben Simmons to shoot threes more to gain confidence? I don’t know, but he would be a fun fit, as long as the Lakers allow the 76ers to negotiate with him.
- Dave Joerger
I think this may be the best fit out of any of the candidates I listed. With the Kings, they had a top 5 pace in the entire NBA. This was truly because of him because as we have seen this year with Luke Walton, they are a bottom 5 pace in the league. He was just starting to figure out the Sacramento team before he was fired, almost making the playoffs last year. He would be able to take a super talented team like the Sixers to the Finals, whether or not they make changes soon.