Quick Thoughts On The Plight Of The Sixers And Possible Solutions

2 Dec

The Sixers are 7-10 and have lost four in a row, disappointing many fans.  Here’s why and how it could be fixed.

They suck at the three point shot, and they don’t shoot many of them.  They’re in the bottom ten in the league in shooting percentage and they score the 2nd least amount of points on them. Some teams are scoring almost a third of their points off three balls, while the Sixers only net 13.3% of theirs from beyond the arc.

Their guards suck at shooting.  Andre Miller is shooting 31% for two-point jumpers, while Andre Iguodala is shooting 30.6%.   Lou Williams? A hefty 29.7%. Only guys like Sebastian Telfair (bust) and Rudy Fernandez (rookie) are worse guards in this category.  Miller has been showing his age, and Iguodala has struggled in all aspects except driving to the hoop.

Their scoring differential (how much they score to how much opponents score) is essentially a wash, as they give up only 0.4 more points than they score.  However, this is a tad misleading due to two huge blowout wins on November 3rd (destroyed Sacramento by 34) and November 15th (25 against OKC). They’ve had two blowouts the other way, but not to that degree (23 and 22).  Yes, it’s small, but they’ve only played 17 games thus far.

Their bench stinks.  The Lakers, the best team in the league, has a bench so deep that it continually adds to their performance every game.  The Sixers, on the other hand, have a sickeningly thin bench.  An underperforming Lou Williams has been throwing up horrible shots this season and hasn’t taken the leap forward many thought he would. Yes, the bench scores 28 points a game, about middle of the road in regards to the rest of the NBA, but it does so while playing horrible defense. Their +/- indicator shows a stark difference to the starting lineup of Miller – AI – Young – Brand – Dalembert. In fact, it’s fourth worst among NBA benches. There’s not much inside presence, and the perimeter defense is lackadaisical.  This is all born out by numbers.

Solutions?  There aren’t many clear ones, and the ones that do appear may be counter to what fans want.  One may be to shorten the rotation.

1. A shorter rotation will get the most minutes out of the best players on the team, and the best combinations.  It could also tire them out, and stifle development of guys like Speights.   However, it could be a good short-term solution to try and win a couple games and get back on track until they slowly re-integrate some of the part-timers like Kareem Rush and Reggie Evans.

2. Another may be to cut back on Williams’ minutes until he either improves his jump shot, learns his limitations, or becomes more of a point guard.  Right now he’s become a liability out there on the offensive end, and he’s never been much to write home about defensively.  Taking his minutes and spreading them among Miller, Iguodala and Green would send a message to him and also ensure the Sixers the best possible chance of victory until (if?) he shapes up.

3. The last thing to do may be to simply wait.  Thad Young is flourishing in only his second season, but still shows plenty of mistakes.  Marreese Speights has shown flashes, but is way too overmatched against experienced NBA centers.  Given time, these guys could blossom and bring this team along with them.  Iguodala has struggled mightily on the offensive end this season.  He’s taken a couple steps back in regards to his shot and his shot selection.  Something, anything, to jar him could be needed.  It doesn’t make sense to do anything drastic with him for multiple games, but a quarter of rest, or maybe even a half, could do something.  We’re down to the last gasps here people.

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One Response to “Quick Thoughts On The Plight Of The Sixers And Possible Solutions”

  1. Sheed December 2, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    I’m feelin’ it! But I think you have to give Lou even more minutes. He’ll figure it out! That’s coaching for you.

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