Philadelphia 76ers: Will Alec Burks see More Minutes Moving Forward?
The restart of the Philadelphia 76ers' 2019-2020 regular season didn't go as planned. After seeing the team's starters handle business in the early quarters of the three scrimmage games down in Orlando, many had high hopes regarding the Sixers' final eight seeding games. In a way, though, the 76ers looked like the same old team from before the NBA's suspension on Saturday night.
While there were a few individual performances to praise, the same issues still came about. Turnovers, lack of physicality, lack of three-point scoring, and bench players failing to make an impact all played into the Sixers' loss against the Pacers this past Saturday night. However, it wasn't all bad for everybody. Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Ben Simmons had good moments on offense from the starting lineup.
And off the bench, Al Horford and especially Alec Burks did a decent job of creating a spark. Unfortunately for Burks, Brown didn't look to utilize him more. Before the Sixers' Sunday practice session, Brown explained his decision to play the veteran guard for just 12 minutes on Saturday night.
"It's always a defensive thing," Brown claimed before Sunday's practice. "I thought he came in and played, he looked cocky, he had the ball at times, and we ran him as a two off screens, and I thought he looked good. Then you get in, and you have to stalk the Holiday brothers around T.J. Warren, and he did what he did. So it gets down to like, you know, matchup stuff. [Furkan Korkmaz] didn't play in the third period, and Matisse [Thybulle] did come in for defensive reasons."
The defense was a significant flaw for the Sixers against Indiana, but a lack of scoring outside of Embiid, Harris, and Simmons didn't do them any favors either. Considering Burks came off the bench and went three-for-three from deep in 12 minutes, Brown probably should've allowed him to play more. Moving forward, the Sixers head coach will have Burks on his mind as he could see his role increase as time moves on.
"I thought his defense was pretty good," Brown said in regards to Burks. "He did have a few turnovers like a lot of us had on kind of careless passes [on offense]. I feel like Alec had a really good seven or eight days of camp, and I thought [on Saturday] he looked good, and he scored. It's always on my mind to continue to grow his role as it relates to lightning in a bottle -- somebody that can come in and get buckets quick -- especially as it relates to a playoff environment."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_