Sixers' Brown will pick his spots to show passion

CAMDEN, N.J. -- With his pointed Game 2 halftime speech still echoing around the team days after the Philadelphia 76ers tied up their first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets 1-1, coach Brett Brown said you won't see him going all fire and brimstone all the time moving forward.

"I mean I think it's one of the great myths of coaching, to think that's what coaches do," Brown said after Sixers practice on Wednesday. "You got about so many bullets a year. And people that have been around NBA basketball understand that. Simply, it's true.

"So you pick and you choose your moments. And it wasn't anything, in my view, that dramatic. It was just highlighting truth. And there's a game plan defensively that we talked about and we weren't getting it done and that's the bottom line. But to think that's how you do it every game would be really naïve."

Still, Brown's halftime message -- with the Sixers clinging to a tenuous one-point lead after dropping the series opener at home -- was well received. Immediately following Brown's impassioned plea, Philadelphia hung 51 points on the Nets in the third quarter -- tying an all-time NBA playoff record for points in a quarter.

Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, who has been coached by Brown all three years that he's been in the league, said it was a rare display.

"That's about the first time I've seen him like that with energy," Simmons said Wednesday. "For me, I love it. I love seeing the coach get like that. It fires up everyone and lets everybody know this is [what we're playing for] and this is our job, so I love to see that side. I really love that."

The fact that Simmons is praising the coach's outburst is telling, considering that part of Brown's message was aimed directly at the former Rookie of the Year.

"He expressed it. I apologized at the time for where I messed up on plays," Simmons said. "And I love to see that side of him just because it motivates me when he's bringing that energy. So, it's great to see that side of him."

JJ Redick, one of the most experienced members of Philadelphia's rotation, was asked if Brown could help the Sixers if he got on them more often like that.

"Well, you want it to be authentic, too," Redick said. "There was legitimate frustration and anger. ... It was great to see him get up in that mode."

Simmons concurred that a strategic approach by Brown would have the biggest impact.

"When it's needed. When it's needed," Simmons said. "I think he used it at the perfect time."

The vote of confidence from Brown's players coincided with the publication of a story in the New York Daily News that claims Brown has "lost the locker room" and he is "coaching for his job" unless he can guide his group to the Eastern Conference finals.

"I am aware of it," Brown said when asked about the story. "I have not read it, and I won't, and I have nothing to say about it."

The story also asserted that Simmons missed a game against the Orlando Magic in late March because he was partying the night before, not because of a stomach virus, as the team listed as his reason for being out at the time.

"I'm not worried about it. You're talking about the regular season," Simmons said when asked about the story. "I'm talking about the playoffs right now. Unless you want to talk about something else, [go] somewhere else with it. It's the playoffs right now."

When Simmons ended his media session, he jokingly referred to the Daily News story again by announcing that he was indeed partying in Orlando and joining him out on the town were Brown and assistant coach Monty Williams.

As the noise surrounding the Sixers grows as the stakes increase in the playoffs, Brown said he won't add to the din by ranting and raving whenever he addresses his team.

"I mean, if you have to do it, you have to do it," Brown said. "I think the thing I like most about this group is that they do let me coach them. There is a togetherness and a locker room respect for one another that I appreciate. So when you have to do it from time to time, you do it. But by and large ... I feel like the game plan and things we talk about is clear. It's not like we're throwing curveballs at the last minute. It is what it is what it is.

"And lots of times you do it or you don't and everybody from time to time needs a little bit of help."