Friday night, prior to the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, I talked a bit to Brett Brown about the role of the point guard in his system, the importance of the pick and roll, and how he sees Jimmy Butler adding into the range of options for the team to run offensively. Below is the Q and A:
JB: You’ve been really insistent over the last couple of weeks that Ben Simmons is a point guard. The pick and roll is not a huge part of your offense.
Brown: We do not run many pick and rolls in our structure. I think that we can run more, but I still…like Golden State I think is with us as the least pick and roll teams, and I think that they’re pretty good. And I actually think that they’ve got some good pick and roll players.
JB: Is it fair to say that’s not a strength of his as a point guard?
Brown: Let’s go to Ben, and let’s go to us. At the moment, I don’t do it because I think that Ben can do a lot of other things. I don’t consider it, at the moment, to be an extreme strength. I do feel like I have to learn more and grow him more in that environment. And so somewhere there’s this toggle of “I think we do okay as it is.” I’m not sure right now that it’s a strength of his. People go under under under under, and there’s nobody to screen. And so you’re rendered into a 17 foot, 16 foot jump shot. You know, we can re-pick, and maybe get him going downhill, and play that cat and mouse game too. But as it sits, it’s an area I hope to grow him more in. I think his gifts are placed in other areas. That’s Ben Simmons.
JB: Does Jimmy Butler give you an option now as someone to be the ball handler on a pick and roll?
Brown: You asked about Jimmy Butler. Yes I do. I think that putting him in something as simple as a pick and roll, as part of our crunch time look. Just looping him up to the top, throwing it up to the top, letting him and Joel play pick and roll interests me. Giving Jimmy Butler the ball and putting JJ in that pick and roll, and doing some things on the base line interests me. I’m going to learn more as time goes on.