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Brett Brown made 76ers cut weight, and now opponents are begging them to stop running

Nov 26, 2013, 12:59 PM EDT

Michael Carter-Williams, George Hill

New 76ers coach Brett Brown has quickly established his preferred style of play.

Philadelphia ranks No. 1 in the NBA in pace and No. 1 in distance travelled per game (as culled from NBA.com’s player-tracking data), and it’s no accident. Brown made his intent clear before the season even began.

Dei Lynam of CSN Philly:

“First we had to do a conditioning test and then we had to drop weight,” said Evan Turner, who is down nine pounds and 2½ percent body fat. “He told us what weight he wanted us to be at. He was kind of nice about it, but he wasn’t if you didn’t hit that weight number. That was key.”

“In film the other day, in the fourth quarter you see Mike [Carter-Williams] picking up full court,” said Wroten, who missed Saturday’s game with back spasms. “In the NBA, no one plays full court at all, but for him to be able to do that in the fourth when we only had seven, eight people and he had played a lot of minutes [was key]. It showed the little things.

“Sometimes teams will say to us, ‘Are you guys ever going to stop running?’ And they are serious, but at the end of the day we are going to keep running, keep running and keep running.”

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This is an overlooked benefit of tanking. Because new general manager Sam Hinkie has stocked his roster with young players, none of them have the cache to undermine Hinkie’s demands. If Brown had taken over a veteran team, its players might not be so accepting of a more rigorous regimen, and those complains would filter down to the few younger players.

If all goes well, when Philadelphia has quality veterans in a few years, getting into great shape will have become an organizational standard. Players like Michael Carter-Williams will explain to their younger teammates how much it helped them.

The 76ers aren’t just laying the seeds for their future by trying to secure a high draft pick. They’re also conditioning their players and their culture.

  1. ryanrockzzz - Nov 26, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Well when they cut Kwame the team collectively lost 300 pounds.

    • spursareold - Nov 26, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      The grapevine said he was cut because he was out of shape. This article lends creedence to the rumor mill. They actually ate some salary early to get rid of him. They could have kept him on the roster a while longer before they had to make the decision, but if he was making no progress, then cut him and scare the bejeezus out of the youngsters.

    • phaden27 - Nov 27, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Comment of the year.

  2. dinofrank60 - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Let’s see, how fast they are in March. It can be good, but you’re gonna have to play everybody. Otherwise you’re gonna break down… like Chicago.

    • tcclark - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      and then what? They’ll start losing? Oh noooooooooooooooooo! They’re gonna miss the playoffs and end up with a terrible record!

      oops that’s what they were hoping for.

  3. prostock75 - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    The Sixers have two guys averaging more than 35 minutes, Turner at 36.8 and Williams at 36.2. They also have 11 players getting at least 10 minutes a night. They are not being overworked at all and is also a reason they have been so good in the 4th quarter this year

  4. jucam1 - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Thats the beauty of this system this year, if some of them breakdown towards the end or because of fatigue, we lose more games!.. Listen, if you have a smart coach, a bright GM, couple of young talented pieces, couple of valuable or tradable veteran assets, 2 first round picks, Nerles coming back next year, AND almost $36M under the cap! You are in good rebuilding shape!.. What’s beautiful about it is that the coach and GM instilled a smart analytic driven culture. It shows how good of a coach Brett is just by the crazy effort this team gives every night. I could not be more excited to see this team rebuild the way they are and to be at the ground floor of what I think will be a special team in 2-3 years. I couldn’t talk my self in to another awful year of Doug and his stubborn old ways or dumb GMs making stupid moves!..

  5. jollyjoker2 - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    okay …you can run …but can you dribble? Shoot? Defend? play defense? Run the plays the coach calls down to the step? Sounds like a lot of wasted energy by the time you hit game 50 or so

  6. ramrodmclean - Nov 26, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Should we really be celebrating teams that waste so much energy. They’re travelling so much further for the same results as other teams!! This is not efficiency, SportsVu!! I want to know which players get the most production out of the least movement. The Z-Bo All-Stars, if you will. Those are the true craftsmen.

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