Both Jimmy Butler and Brett Brown have downplayed the recent drama which has unfolded in Philadelphia. But, according to a report, the issues are very real.
Last week, it was reported that the player "aggressively" challenged Brown during a film session in Portland, urging the coach to employ more pick and roll situations during games. Persons who witnessed the exchange claimed that the player ventured too far and was disrespectful.
Both parties have insisted that there was no disrespect involved. However, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reports that the player is displeased with the way things are being handled on the offensive end of play during games.
"Though league sources say that Jimmy Butler has developed a good relationship with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, his reported problems with the Sixers system are real," O'Connor writes.
"Butler’s main gripe with Brown is that the team doesn’t run pick-and-roll and isolation sets. Butler is right, though: In an ideal world, the Sixers should run more pick-and-roll and isolate to attack mismatches. One big problem: It’d require Simmons to sacrifice touches and adapt by setting more on-ball screens and improving as a shooter.
"Simmons either hasn’t shown the willingness or the team hasn’t asked him to set on-ball screens regularly. The potential is there for him to devastate defenses by scoring off those plays like Blake Griffin does or making passes off the short roll à la Draymond Green. Unfortunately, optimizing a pick-and-roll also requires spacing."
Butler, though, has said that his exchange with Brown was not confrontational and the Sixers are even better off as a result of it.
"I don't think any part of it was confrontational, just a coach to player talk, a player to coach talk," the shooting guard explained. "It just happened to be in front of everybody. I think we got away from it great, and we got better as a team."
What This Means
The Sixers knew exactly who they were getting in Jimmy Butler. The former Minnesota Timberwolves star has always been one to speak his mind and one can't argue that his point is unreasonable.
Brown has sort of acknowledged that he was right but it appears that huge demands will be placed on Ben Simmons, whose difficulty shooting the ball is well-documented.
It has never been unreasonable to expect a professional basketball player to be able to hit jump shots so Brown should have no issues asking the player to improve on that front (if he hasn't already).