The Philadelphia 76ers made a move at the trade deadline, bringing Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III on board in exchange for three second-round picks. The trade brought the Sixers additional scoring but Burks, who had interest from several teams prior to the deadline, hasn’t seen much action yet.
Expectations For Alec Burks
Burks played just 14 minutes over his first two games in Philadelphia. He saw 29 minutes in the win over the Nets on Thursday. Coach Brett Brown recently outlined the expectations for the shooting guard.
“Alec needs to be put in a situation where he can score,” said Brown (via Ky Carlin of the Sixerswire). “I’m looking at him is sort of instant offense type off the bench he can be given the ball can be put in pick-and-rolls. I like him more probably in the middle of the floor with the pick and roll than the sideline with the pick-and-roll I think that he can be a primary ball carrier for a while.”
The Jazz selected the shooting guard with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 draft. However, injuries kept him from reaching his full potential during his seven-plus season in Utah. While in Golden State earlier this year, the 28-year-old was averaging 16.1 points per game. He was shooting 37.5% from behind the arc.
“I’m trying to grow Ben as a screen setter, and a dynamic roller, of which he is both,” Brown continued. “J-Rich can do that I think Furkan can do that I think Alec Burks can run a pick-and-roll with Ben, but I feel like his primary role, and his primary asset his skill set, is he can score. We will ask him to do the same with us in that group coming off the bench and it will be done in an environment I suspect more and middle pick-and-rolls than anything.”
Burks can help Philadelphia score off the bench, alleviating the need to stagger Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, something that will allow them to create more chemistry between their two stars.
Al Horford Will Continue to Come off Bench
Al Horford will remain a back-up going forward. The big man, who signed with the Sixers during the offseason, came off the bench against the Clippers during the team’s final game before the All-Star break and it appears that was more than just a matchup-related decision.
“It’s what the team needs right now, and that’s what we’re doing,” Horford said (via Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice). “I didn’t really give it much thought to be honest, I’m just refreshed being back and ready for the second half of the season…I’m playing similar to how I was playing before.”
The Sixers now have 26 games before the postseason and Brown views them as an opportunity to get this team to gel.
“I think for the moment, we’re going to try to grow that rotation as you saw against the Clippers,” Brett Brown said before the Nets contest. “With 27 games left, my mindset is to take this next period of time — seven, 10, whatever games — and really get precise and purposeful with our rotation, and then take that run home and polish it up. I think that 27 games is an eternity by NBA standards.”