After committing 27 turnovers in Saturday’s 106-102 win over the Miami Heat, the 76ers aren’t about to get conservative.
Coach Brett Brown insisted on this before Monday’s practice.
Brown, of course was concerned with the turnovers, but not enough to change the Sixers’ style. He will live with a few miscues in exchange for the team playing an up-tempo game.
The Sixers, with a 3-1 series lead over Miami, look to close out the Heat in Game 5 on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
During the postseason, many teams get trapped into playing a half-court game. Brown understands that defenses dictate the slower pace, but he feels a speed game benefits his young team tremendously, thus no change in strategy.
— Marc Narducci (@sjnard) April 23, 2018
“You can walk it up the floor, and you can have your two best players, you know, play sort of slow and play conservative, and we are not doing that,” Brown said. “It starts with me and our two best players, who receive the most attention, we will continue to help them.”
His two best players, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, combined for 15 turnovers on Saturday (eight by Embiid and seven by Simmons). The fact that the Sixers were still able to win, was an encouraging sign to, among others, Embiid.
“Having 27 turnovers in the playoff [game] on the road is kind of absurd and it starts with me, I had about 8-10 of them, but you can’t do that,” Embiid said after Monday’s practice. “To know we actually won the game, I think the defense played their usual [role] into that. We got to make sure next game we take care of the ball and we will be fine.”
Like Embiid, the only thing Brown wants to see is the turnovers cut down, not the pace slowed up.
“We want to play fast, we want to play free,” Brown said.
And the Sixers also want to shoot threes at a high rate.
The Sixers have made 50 three-pointers, which entering Monday, led the NBA and is a franchise record for a playoff series. The previous mark of 32 was set against the Boston Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Despite having made the most threes, the Sixers were just eighth among the 16 teams in three-point percentage (40.5) entering Monday.
JJ Redick says it’s still too early to be concerned with statistics.
“I think we can make some more shots, but then again, it is a four-game sample and a very physical series, and I don’t think anybody is overly concerned about that,” Redick said before practice. “We want to shoot threes.”
What’s interesting is that despite all the threes, Redick, among the NBA’s top shooters, has struggled from distance. He is shooting 8 for 27 (29.6 percent).
During the regular season, Redick shot 42 percent from distance and he is a career 41.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
Redick is much more concerned with the turnovers.
“The main thing for us is being better with the ball and making sure we get good shots every time down the floor,” he said. “If those shots are threes, great.”
The Sixers entered Monday tied for the third highest turnover average in the playoffs with 16.3 per game. They will look to cut that number down, but not at the expense of the fast pace that they hope to continue playing.