"The negatives [of the trip] are how much we turned it over and how wild we are and how reckless and not really understanding time and score," said Brown after the team's practice yesterday at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "But I think in an inverted way it's not a bad thing because they're trying to get out and make plays and make things happen. Our turnovers were generated by a frantic pace, and if I had to have one or the other [turnovers or pace] now I'd choose pace and we'll try to calm down as things move forward.
"We talk a lot about pace, but when we talk to our players we talk about we have to finish in the paint. Getting the ball over halfcourt quickly and not continuing to do something with it is not something that we're trying to do. We want to get to the paint, get to the line, get to the rim and we're doing that. I think the free-throw attempts by Evan [Turner] is really a good sign of what he can do. He's a big, versatile player and him at the rim is a good thing."
As much as anyone on this team, eyes will be on Turner as he enters his fourth year in sort of an awkward predicament. Does this organization see him being part of the future - as a rebuild is in its infancy stage - or is he looked at as a piece that can bring in another player and/or draft pick that could better fit the direction general manager Sam Hinkie and staff envision? Either way, Turner knows that posting numbers, improving his game and being a leader this season will only help him in the future, no matter where that may be. In the two Europe games, Turner averaged 22 points and got to the foul line 22 times.
"Must have been something in the water over there," Turner said, laughing. "I just have been attacking, trying to get to the free-throw line and making the most of every opportunity.
"I'm not scared to take shots or look over my shoulder if I do. Now it's a crossover in a certain situation where if you miss shots you're able to shoot yourself out of bad situations and shoot yourself out of slumps. I think that's a key thing, you're not too worried about making or missing.
"[Getting to the foul line] makes you want to keep attacking the rim, that you're not attacking for no reason. Obviously it's always great to get to the line and put pressure on a defense and I feel like we can all execute on that."
Turner has tried to get to the rim during his tenure, he just hasn't had good results the majority of the time. Mostly he's come up empty and with some words for the referees. He thinks he's straightened out the problem.
"I think the whole thing is not stopping short sometimes, attack and try to go up and go strong," he said. "After a while I stopped attacking and I was stopping short and I'd try to shoot a pull-up. Finding bodies and keeping the ball up, that's the keys."
It probably will also help Turner's numbers that he has a coach who wants to play fast now and even faster later.
"We're not going to have any controlled pace - we're going," said Brown. Then when asked if he would prefer some discipline while playing so fast he added: "You would think so, but at the same time you can't have everything. You have to pick your poison or we would be the Lakers [think Showtime] of old and right now we want to run. If we get that mentality, that mindset, that fitness, then we can start to polish things up.
"To ask for everything now is not in my mindset. So I'm going to sit there and I'm going to bite my lip and I'm going to watch Tony [Wroten] throw it to the backboard and James [Anderson] throw it over the rim for lobs and maybe a crazy kick ahead where maybe we thought we had a kick-ahead layup that gets picked off. Those things are going to happen. I have to be patient with letting some of it happen where I don't have them playing in mud and fearful of making mistakes. I've tilted on reckless abandon at the start and we'll start bringing them backwards as the season gets real."
Not only is Brett Brown planning on playing Royce White tonight, he's excited about it. "There's a side of him where you have to hold your breath a little bit, too. He's got a feel that you have to let play a little bit, but the main thing is just watching him get up and down the floor and play with his teammates and seeing how he goes in an open-court type game. He's got to get in great shape. Those are non-negotiable . . . We need to see signs that as we continue to work with him and be patient with him, which we all are, that it's a two-way street. That's the bottom line." White said it was bittersweet not going on the Europe trip with the team, saying he missed playing with teammates, but it probably helped his anxiety disorder . . . Asked where Lavoy Allen is right now, Brown quickly responded in grade terminology. "He's a C." asked where he needed to be, Brown quipped, "An A" . . . Again Brown sang the praises of Tony Wroten, who averaged 18 points in the two games.