Can Brett Brown Control Tony Wroten’s Chaos?


During his first game back from injury, Tony Wroten wasn’t himself. There wasn’t much explosiveness and the rust was evident. The 6’6″ guard finished the loss against Brooklyn logging only 22 minutes, scoring 12 points on 2-of-10 shooting. It was an ugly performance for sure, one that Wroten definitely wanted to put behind him. Coming into tonight’s game against the Grizzlies, Wroten’s former team, he had a chance to wipe away his ugly return.

There’s always something special about playing against a former team, especially one that gave up on a player before they gave him a chance. This was Tony Wroten’s experience with the Grizzlies in a nut shell. The Grizz spent a first-round pick on Wroten back in 2012, but shipped him to Philly last offseason for a future second-round pick that is so protected that Memphis essentially gave Wroten away for free.

The set up for a great performance from Wroten tonight was there. His second game back after a bad performance, playing against his old team in front of Philly’s crowd. Yup, Wroten knew he was about to show out, and show out he did.

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The Seattle product was relegated to the bench, once again logging sparse minutes (19). However, Wroten didn’t let the lack of minutes spurn him from turning in a great effort. In 19 minutes of game action, the former first-round pick scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, even dropping 2-of-3 attempts from three-point land. It was a weirdly efficient Tony Wroten that appeared in Philadelphia yesterday, something that has become an anomaly as the season goes on.

Maybe the pressure is off his shoulders, maybe he realizes how valuable he can be to this team. He’s not starting anymore, he realizes that the Sixers have other scoring options on the floor. It’s as if Wroten has become a forgotten commodity, even though he was the face of the 76ers while Michael Carter-Williams was absent. It’s a weird turnaround for Wroten, but if last night was any indication, he’s performing better when the pressure is dialed down a few notches.

Opposing defenses are worried about Robert Covington knocking down unconscious triples and MCW collecting more triple-doubles. No longer are defense solely dialing in on Wroten driving to the rack with his left, there’s a lot more issues for teams to worry about when facing the 76ers. The floor is opening up and so is the lane, which explains why Wroten converted on 7-of-11 attempts against the Grizzlies.

The 76ers still sit with two wins and 21 losses on the season, but there are more pieces and talent on the court than when Wroten was leading the charge. He flourished last night in a sixth man role and Brett Brown would be smart to keep it that way. He’s instant offense off the bench and keeping his minutes low should limit how out of control he can become. It’s controlled chaos and if Brett Brown can manage it perfectly, the diamond may finally be found in the rough.