By Alex Starkman, Sports Talk Philly Staff
Head coach Brett Brown knows that the development of Ben Simmons' jump shot and the return of Markelle Fultz as a confident play maker with a polished jumper are crucial to the Sixers' success and growth in the upcoming 2018-19 season.
To make sure this can happen, Simmons continues to work with his brother Liam, a former college assistant coach, at the Sixers practice facility in Camden every day. And as we all know, Fultz worked out all summer with basketball guru Drew Hanlen in Los Angeles.
Brown has been impressed with how hard Fultz has worked on his game, claiming that he has shot 150,000 shots over the summer, which Brown believes could help him regain the form he showed his entire freshman year at Washington.
Brett Brown on Markelle Fultz:— Brian Seltzer (@brianseltzer) September 18, 2018
"Evidently, he shot 150,000 shots this summer. He put in time. I see him come back, his swagger, his mojo, he's seeking shots. He's not bashful. That in and of itself is powerful."
That being said, just putting in the work does not guarantee success in actual games, which Brown openly agreed with at his sixth annual media luncheon on Tuesday in Camden. Brown spoke with reporters about his solution to help space the floor with shooters with Simmons and Fultz together on the court.
Brett Brown at his sixth annual media luncheon pic.twitter.com/SJXLvCZQOS— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) September 18, 2018
Brown conceded that the growing pains for his two promising guards will certainly take place at certain points throughout the year, but that his experience with the past championship winning San Antonio Spurs teams has helped him prepare for how Simmons and Fultz fit within the constructs of his other players, including Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.
Brown was also eager to share how devastated he was in the way that the last season ended and how the team did not make it to last year's NBA Finals, as they lost in five games to the Boston Celtics in the quarterfinals.
The mantra of this year's team, unlike in previous seasons, is to have the expectation of going deep into the spring playing meaningful basketball.
"All over our building, if you walk in, you'll see the verbiage," Brown said Monday. "We want to know how to 'game-ify' our gym and how we message up the gym. You'll see 'MORE TO DO' all over our building."