SIXERS BRETT BROWN ‘HAS BECOME A LEGEND IN OUR PROFESSION!’

By the Associated Press

Sixers coach Brett Brown acknowledged that after he told his players and the media before the season began that the goal was to make the playoffs, it “wasn’t well received” by many in the cautious front office.

Turns out, Brown had the pulse of The Process. Not only are the Sixers headed to the postseason, they’re poised to make some noise.

“In our profession, Brett has become a legend,” said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, whose team has begun its own rebuild. “He’s just been unshakable as a leader and as a guy that’s always pushed his teams to always play at their highest capacity in terms of energy and effort.

“And as this thing has gone along, in the fourth or fifth year, they’ve built up the guys that they like and they’ve gotten rid of a lot of other guys that weren’t quite good enough. They’ve added a few veterans and they’ve done a great job with the draft.”

The only other time the Sixers won 14 straight in a single season, Dr. J and Moses Malone delivered Philadelphia its last NBA title in 1983. The 76ers won 18 straight spanning the 1966-67 and 1967-68 seasons for the franchise’s longest overall win streak.

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

But Brown, now 125-283 in his fifth year in Philly, is still taking the long view after experiencing the pain of The Process’ early years.

“We are growing a culture,” Brown said. “And, oh by the way, we’ve won 50 games and we have home-court advantage and we’ve tied a record. That’s true. But that is never really what’s most on my mind.”

Harrison Barnes scored 21 points on 9-of-25 shooting, and Dennis Smith Jr. added 20 points for the Mavericks, who have lost three straight and six of seven.

“I thought we played pretty hard,” Carlisle said. “This is a very hard team to play.”

The undermanned Mavs were no match for the Sixers, who won their sixth in a row without injured All-Star Joel Embiid, who is out until at least the start of the playoffs with an eye injury. They moved a game ahead of idle Cleveland for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with two games left.

 

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