Couldn't agree with you more VfK.
This is a very good team, but in my opinion, not championship-caliber. And if "The Process" fails to yield a championship, then it was a complete waste because we could've continued making the playoffs with no real championship chance as it was without having to watch garbage basketball for a handful of years.
I think Brett is an average at-best coach, and I don't think in our lifetime we'll ever get to hear him introduced anywhere as "NBA Champion Coach Brett Brown". His first year he was abysmal in the playoffs and really played a significant role in botching the Celtics series, especially the game where we lost momentum in that series and coughed up a 20 point lead before halftime as he stood there and let it happen without even bothering to call a timeout. He was better this past year, but he's still, in my opinion, fundamentally flawed.
Accountability is the key word that VfK used that I've believed for a while -- this team has little to none. I believe little to nothing Brett says in his pressers so I don't bother listening to them. He's talked about conditioning programs for Embiid -- that sure hasn't happened. He talks about everything Ben should be doing and what he "expects" during a game (i.e. the "one three per game comment")... but nope, just keep half-heartedly driving through the lane, jumping up at the foul line and throwing the ball into traffic, yet nothing is done about it. Nothing changes. Same flaws. Yet somehow this year it's going to be different in the playoffs. He developed Robert Covington, but little else, so his player development record isn't exactly reeking with success stories, and that was supposed to be his strength coming in. Kudos to Toronto -- made an aggressive change in talent (Leonard) and an aggressive move in firing their coach of the year who could make the playoffs with ease.
Ben Simmons is a HUGE problem for this team, and it's probably going to cost them their championship window. His unwillingness to do what's best for the team and shoot the ball is pathetic. I don't care what their regular season record is -- they will gel together better as a unit and have a good regular season -- but playoff teams and playoff series are a different animal. I feel like this team is built more for the regular season and even with the talent they have, it could be trouble going against solid, well-coached units in a series (i.e. TOR, IND) that could regularly expose our weaknesses. Ben has stepped up as a defender, but come playoff time, it's not easy playing 4 on 5 offense and most playoff teams are going to get theirs scoring regardless of how good a defensive unit they're up against. Remember, he was so easy to defend for the Celtics a few years ago that we had to start TJ McConnell... that should really say something.
They're probably afraid of disciplining Ben for not doing what's asked of him fearing he'd ask for a trade. Which is funny because they'd probably have a better chance at a ring having done that than believing he's going to develop into a well-rounded player. For now, he's a good to great player that is severely flawed, and they'll likely throw their window away waiting for that to happen (which is probably a fairly finite window to begin with given Horford's age and possibly based on how long Embiid can play with his conditioning and injury history).
I'd love to know the whole backstory with Butler. I think it seems apparent he and Ben had a falling out, and my guess his blow up at Brown was wanting to run the point since Ben wouldn't shoot. Another potential factor for why they probably also went Harris over Butler is to appease Simmons, afraid he'd want out if they brought him back (granted it's probably not the only reason as there are several reasons to choose Harris over Butler and overall I agree with the move -- I just think Simmons is a big reason Butler would've never even been considered back and that was in my guess mutual). All conjecture on my part, but I just get a sense that Ben is a total headcase, which is ironic because he's probably always been more of a headcase than Fultz and Markelle sure got a ton of grief for it.
So I'll continue rooting for them hoping they can overcome the obstacles, but I have a hard time believing this team can beat LAL, LAC, or MIL in a series, and I'd worry about some of the other decent teams in the east that could make their life difficult before even getting to MIL.
I know, TL; DR (haha -- had to vent apparently)