Brett Brown talks coaching style he brings to Philadelphia

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Brett Brown doesn’t have a lot to work with as coach of the Sixers this year. That is by design, new coach Sam Hinkie has taken the “get good by getting bad” strategy and they are all in for this year’s lottery.

So what is Brett Brown going to try to do with this first year as coach.

Build a winning foundation. He’s taking a page from the NFL philosophy of trying to put players in positions to play to their strengths rather than put the square peg in the round hold, he told Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com.

For example, while the NBA trend is more three pointers don’t expect that in Philly because they don’t have the guys to knock those down (not Evan Turner or Thaddeus Young).

“I don’t have the analytic bug,” Brown said. “I listen to it but it does not consume me. We have players who traditionally have taken two-point shots like Evan, Lavoy [Allen] and Thad.

“Evan’s future is going to be developing his perimeter game,” Brown continued. “But he can shoot the mid-range shot. He is strong and he can get to the basket. That is tough to guard.”

The other focus is player development. The Sixers are not going to have a traditional lead assistant, what they will have is an offensive coordinator, a defensive coordinator and guys who are all about developing talent — a more NFL, compartmentalized style, Brown said.

“I won’t have a lead assistant coach,” Brown explained. “One guy will pay attention to offense, another to defense and then Lloyd (Pierce) is like my free safety. There will also be two coaches with development roles.”

“I used this philosophy when coaching in the Olympics in London and it works for me,” Brown added, referring to his 2012 experience coaching the Australian national team.

All you can ask of Brown and the Sixers this year is effort and development — build a foundation with what you have. Then wait for the front office to get you the talent.

Marreese Speights opts out of Clippers contract

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The Clippers are unraveling.

Of course, whether they can re-sign Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the big questions. But they also must deal with smaller matters in free agency – like Marreese Speights.

Speights will opt out, his agent tweeted:

The Clippers will hold Speights’ Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of Bird Rights), allowing them to give him a starting salary up to $2,540,346 without using cap space or the mid-level exception.

The 29-year-old Speights, a stretch five who takes charges, fits the modern NBA. He could probably get more if he seeks it.

The Clippers won’t have cap space unless they lose Paul and Griffin, and at that point, re-signing a veteran like Speights is of little use. So, it would likely require the taxpayer mid-level exception or Speights taking a discount to keep him.

Luc Mbah a Moute can and likely will also opt out, and he’ll fall in the same Non-Bird situation. The Clippers would likely prioritize their mid-level exception for him – if it’s enough for either player.

Keeping Paul and Griffin is of the utmost importance, but that’s not the Clippers’ only challenge. Even if they keep those two stars, assembling even a decent supporting cast will difficult. Possibly losing J.J. Redick is the main issue there, but handling Speights’ and Mbah a Moute’s roster spots will also be pivotal.

Warriors struggle to get Zaza Pachulia’s 2017 NBA Finals hat on his big head (video)

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Zaza Pachulia became the villain of the Western Conference finals when he injured Kawhi Leonard and torpedoed the Spurs chances of upsetting the Warriors.

But his teammates stood by him – then shared this fun moment with him after Golden State won the West.

Reporter asks Spanish-speaking Manu Ginobili whether he just announced retirement (video)

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Manu Ginobili received an emotional sendoff in the Spurs’ season-ending – and maybe Ginobili’s career-ending – loss to the Warriors last night.

The postgame press conference featured a lighthearted moment when, after the Argentinian guard answered a couple questions in Spanish, an American reporter – not wanting to miss big news – asked whether Ginobili had just announced his retirement.

No, Ginobili assured the reporter. He says he plans to take a few weeks to consider his options.

Warriors make most dominant playoff run ever to NBA Finals

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Moses Malone famously predicted the 76ers team would go “”Fo’, Fo’, Fo'” in the 1983 playoffs, sweeping all three rounds in four games. Philadelphia didn’t quite do it – sweeping the Knicks, beating the Bucks in five then sweeping the Lakers for the title.

Thirty-four years later, an NBA team went “”Fo’, Fo’, Fo'” for the first time.

Golden State swept the Trail Blazers, Jazz and Spurs in four-game series. But with an extra playoff round, the Warriors’ 12-0 run merely gets them to the Finals.

It’s the ninth undefeated run to the Finals, third since the league adopted four playoff rounds in 1984 and first since the first round became best-of-seven. The Lakers went 11-0 in the playoffs en route to the Finals in 2001 and 1989.

By winning an extra game and outscoring opponents by 16.3 points per game, Golden State now claims the most dominant postseason run to the NBA Finals ever.

Here are the top paths to the Finals, with Finals results, by playoff…

Record (point difference per game in parentheses):

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Point difference per game (record in parentheses):

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This doesn’t guarantee Golden State a championship. The Cavaliers (10-1, +11.9) are on track for an elite run to the Finals themselves, and they have LeBron James.

But the Warriors put ridiculous expectations on themselves by signing Kevin Durant to join a 73-win team featuring Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. I’m unsure a Golden State title this year will be properly appreciated, but so far, the Warriors are doing all they can to clear a bar set unreasonably high.