Monday evening, Brett Brown unofficially kicked off the 76ers’ season preparation with his annual coaches clinic. Here are some key observations, quotes, and notes: 

  • Jonah Bolden played exclusively as a power forward in this clinic. He seems to be viewed as a stretch big.
  • Matisse Thybulle was scheduled to participate but rolled his ankle. The injury is not serious, and he is expected to be ready for training camp on October 1.
  • Shake Milton played point guard in drills.
  • Zhaire Smith was the primary point of attack defender in defensive drills led by Ime Udoka.

“We have the best team I’ve ever had this year. We’ve got the deepest bench… Elton Brand has done a hell of a job.”

“Everybody wants to be told the truth. I’d rather be trusted than loved.”

“Can the drill be a Swiss Army knife?” In other words, can you use it to teach multiple concepts and for multiple purposes?

Ball-Handling and Passing

“If you’re a blind man, you better hear it; if you’re a deaf man, you better see it.”

The chest pass, in half court, is dead.

We’re gonna throw perfect passes – show your hands and don’t make shooters reach.

Shooting and Rebounding

Almost 5 million shots were charted, 75% of misses were short.

Floor Spacing

Pick-and-pop equals back cut.

You never fake a back door, you’re not half pregnant.

Drift, diagonal, dots, and drag.

It’s not about plays anymore; it’s about concepts.

It’s an open post, Joel can go grab it at any time.

Ime Udoka on Defense

Key notes: 

“Centerfield,” “Up to touch,” and “late red”.

“Dirk” is an automatic late red for pick-and-pop bigs.

Flat Corral: Focus is on encircling the ball handler to force the ball from getting downhill. 

Blitz and full rotate: On ball-dominant guards who are getting what they want – “not to call out Philly, but Kemba put up 60 last year, so we want to get the ball out of his hands.”

Red everything, which is an automatic switch on everything.

Speaking with the media after the session, Udoka talked about the balance between forcing an inefficient shot by encouraging a ball-dominant guard to shoot bad mid-range shots (similar to how the Sixers attacked the Nets and DeAngelo Russell in last year’s playoffs) while still trying to force turnovers. 

Kevin Young on Half Court Offense

Young took the coaches through some basics of half-court pick-and-roll concepts for how spacing will be handled. As mentioned at the top, Jonah Bolden was solely used as a power forward in the clinic. It will be interesting to see if he can continue to develop in this role.

Joseph Blair

New assistant Joseph Blair, who joined the team this summer from the 2018-19 G-League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the Houston Rockets G-League organization, spoke after the clinic about his offensive focus and reinforcing spacing concepts for the team.