By Art Beitchman
When the NBA put out its COVID-19 protocol, many eyes were raised about how they could keep over 700 players, coaches and workers safe, especially in the hot spot state of Florida.
It appeared to be a long shot, but credit the league and commissioner Adam Silver for expertly putting top tier professionals in place to get the job done.
So far, so good with minimal players straying out of the bubble, very few cases have been reported in a bit over three weeks, quite a job.
There’s a country out there battling the Covid crisis with less than stellar results, but that’s another story.
The 76ers restart has not gone as well.
They dropped a game to the Pacers about as ugly as possible, allowing a career 15 point scorer T.J. Warren to turn into Mike Jordan, gouging the Sixers for 53 points in a terrible loss last week.
At no time did 76ers coach Brett Brown attempt to double team Warren — get the ball out of his hands, force another Pacer to beat you, even after watching Warren dump a crazy 29 points on them in the first half!
Brown has a history of watching this blood- letting on the sideline. Blake Griffin did it a couple of times last year, so did Kemba Walker two years ago with the Hornets, lighting them up for 60 points. Only a Jimmy Butler last-second shot saved them.
In the first so-called “seeding” games the Sixers defense has been abysmal in the early going, giving up 46 points in the last quarter of the Pacers game!
Brown has been the 76ers coach for seven years, and the players appear to be drowning him out with this porous defensive play.
If it doesn’t improve quickly this will be Brown’s last stand as coach in Philly.