In the Bonus | 04.08.18 vs Mavericks

by Brian Seltzer
Sixers.com Reporter

The following notes and nuggets were taken from the 76ers’ April 8th 109-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Click here for a complete recap of the game, and be sure to check out our post-game pod below:

Bonus Points:

• In fending off Dallas Sunday afternoon, the Sixers clinched the 17th 50-win season in the franchise’s 69-year history. Prior to this spring, the last time the Sixers posted 50 wins was in 2000-2001, when the club made it all the way to the NBA Finals. Before that season, you’d have to go back to the Charles Barkley-Hersey Hawkins Sixers of 1989-1990 to find a 50-win campaign. The Sixers racked up nine 50-win seasons in the span of 10 years - from 1976 through 1986 - during the height of the Julius Erving era. They also delivered four straight 50-win seasons from 1965 through 1969, when Billy Cunningham and Wilt Chamberlain were on the roster.

• When you increase your win total fivefold (and who knows, possibly more by the time the regular season wraps up Wednesday) in a two-year period, there is certainly a valid and appropriate cause for pause and reflection. As such, a handful of the questions Brett Brown faced following Sunday’s triumph, which put the Sixers at the 50-win plateau only two seasons after going 10-72, were understandably of the retrospective variety. If there were any doubts about just how much the head coach appreciates the support he’s received over the last five years, these comments should put things in perspective:

“It takes a village. The ownership, the front office, my assistant coaches, it takes a village. I think the common denominator in any type of successful thing that I’ve studied is the consistency of good people. I feel the peripheral people, forget the players for a second, the surrounding cast deserves a lot of credit. I hope that I represent a real-time example to other owners that can say, ‘This is the plan, and we’re really going to adhere to the plan, walk it down, and not blink.’ We have fantastic owners that have said something to me, and they have delivered. We’ve got a front office with Scott [O’Neil] doing what he does that’s stayed consistent. I’ve got a core group of assistant coaches back there that have stayed consistent. That’s what I take the most pride in, the fact that we actually have an organization, and we are growing a culture. And oh, by the way, we won 50 games, and we have a home court advantage, and we tied a record, but that is never really what is most on my mind. That’s what I think about most.”

• As far as noteworthy post-game comments from Sunday go, the following Rick Carlisle quote stood out as much as anything else. The Dallas Mavericks’ head coach, ranked 17th on the NBA’s all-time wins list, was effusive in his praise of his Sixers’ counterpart.

“In our profession,” Carlisle said, “Brett has become a legend. He has just been unshakable as a leader, and a guy who has always pushed his teams to play at their highest capacity in terms of energy and effort.”

Carlisle sounded as if he were a believer in what the Sixers have built.

“I wouldn’t want to play these guys in the first round, not with them having home court, not in this place.”

• Connecting on his second 3-pointer midway through Sunday’s second quarter, Robert Covington achieved a bit of history. The triple was his 200th of the year, a milestone that put him in select company. Previously, Kyle Korver had been the only player in Sixers history to hit 200 threes in a single season, which he achieved in 2004-2005, when the current Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard nailed 226 threes.

• From Sunday’s hustle department, Robert Covington got his hands on a game-best eight deflections, while Ben Simmons had six. As of Monday morning, Covington ranked first overall in the NBA with 307 total deflections. He was tied with Oklahoma City’s Paul George for a league-high average of 3.9 deflections per game, and was first alone with a rate of 4.5 deflections per 36 minutes.

• Ben Simmons and Robert Covington came up particularly large during a pivotal stretch of Sunday’s second quarter, as their two-way contributions helped catalyze a timely 14-0 run that allowed the Sixers to get some semblance of separation from Dallas for the first time. Simmons had a say in all but two points scored during the blitz (4 assists, 2 points), while Covington factored in 10 points (1 assist, 8 points).

• JJ Redick finished Sunday’s matinee with a team-best 18 points. The 12-year shooting guard has topped the Sixers in scoring each of the last four games.

• Of all the things the Sixers have done well during their 14-game winning streak, the club’s success in transition has really stood out. Since the Sixers’ surge began back on March 15th, they’ve ranked fifth in the NBA with 15.6 fastbreak points per 100 possessions, a considerable spike from the 10.1 fastbreak points they had been scoring per 100 possessions prior to the streak. Furthermore, the Sixers have surrendered a league-low 9.2 fastbreak points per 100 possessions on the winning streak, an even stingier mark than the 10.3 fastbreak points they were allowing pre-streak. Put another way, the Sixers have generated a plus-6.4 fastbreak points per 100 possessions margin during the winning streak. Previously, the margin had been minus-0.2.

• On the afternoon of his 24th birthday, Dario Saric had a solid day, posting 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in his second game back from injury. The top highlight from the freshly-minted 24-year old came late in the first half, on this jam.

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