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Brown sees opportunity in final five games

by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: April 9, 2014

Brett Brown is not one to waste an opportunity – whether it manifests itself in the form of late timeouts and meticulously diagrammed inbounds plays in games that have already been decided or in scrupulous attention to detail on the practice court in the waning days of the season, he’s taking full advantage. 

With five games left in his rookie season as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brown sees five chances to help his team get better.

“Personally, me and my coaching staff are on a mission to end with our heads high,” he said after shoot-around Wednesday morning in Toronto. “[We want] to end improving, to end fighting, to continue to try to gain respect… And what better way to do it than against these three teams that are going to the playoffs – all on the road. It’s a great opportunity for our young team.”

Four of the Sixers’ final five games will come against teams that are either locks to make the playoffs (Toronto, Charlotte, and Miami) or are fighting to stave off elimination (Memphis). It begins Wednesday on the road against Toronto before the team travels to Memphis and Charlotte on Friday and Saturday. The Sixers return to Wells Fargo Center for their home finale against the Boston Celtics on Monday before finishing their season on the road against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, April 16.

Philadelphia has performed favorably against playoff teams this season, with eight of their 17 total wins coming against teams currently slated to appear in the postseason. 

“I’m grateful for the work that my assistants have put in,” he said of this season. “I’ve got a great staff that comes with juice, and personality, and expertise – three pretty important ingredients for this stage that we’re at with a young team.”

Fellow Bigs Talk Nerlens
After shoot-around Wednesday morning, Thaddeus Young and Jarvis Varnado were asked about rookie center Nerlens Noel and what they’ve seen from him in drills.

Both marveled at Noel’s ability to rise up and alter shots – even Varnado, the NCAA’s all-time leader in blocked shots, has been impressed.