The Sixers have been better during the 2016-17 season than they have been over the past few years. This isn’t exactly hard, but we are finally getting to the point where we see signs of this team being good somewhere down the line, even if it has some serious issues in its frontcourt right now.
For Philly coach Brett Brown, though, the team needs to take baby steps. He doesn’t want to set the bar too high for this team, because having high expectations could lead to failure, and he does not want failure. So on Tuesday, Brown discussed his goals for the team this season. Well, not “goals,” but “goal,” because he only wants the team to achieve one thing this year.
That’s right: the only thing Brown wants out of his team is for it to come in 15th in defense. In fairness, putting too much pressure on a young team is not good, and Philly was the second-worst team in the league last season based on points allowed per game. That means this is probably a solid, attainable goal for the team to achieve this year.
But still, there’s something funny about a basketball team’s only goal being “let’s be totally average on defense this season.” It’s especially funny when said basketball team has embraced tanking in a big way over the last few seasons – imagine Brown walking into a team meeting at the start of the season and going “hey, gang, it’s time we take the leap this year” and, as his players are all getting fired up, he reveals this as his only goal on a whiteboard.
Additionally, what if the Sixers come in, like, 12th on defense this year? Would Brown get mad? Coming in 15th is a very specific goal, so while Brown would probably be happy with a better performance over the course of the year, nothing is off the table. Plus I would assume that he’d be stoked if, say, none of his players got hurt while bowling.
Currently, Philly is 19th in points allowed per game, so Brown’s goal is very much reachable. If they’re bad at everything else, maybe he’ll be a little upset, but hey! Coming in fifteenth in the league in defense is solid.