Friday, March 1, 2013
76ers' woes in the paint
By Tom Carpenter
The Chicago Bulls held the Philadelphia 76ers to just 82 points Thursday, in large part due to an historic night from Joakim Noah, who messed around and got a triple-double with 23 points (8-12 FG), 21 boards and 11 blocks. According to Elias, he became the first player in NBA history to record 20-plus points, 20-plus rebounds, 10-plus blocks and shoot at least 65 percent from the field in a single game.
While that sort of performance helps solidify Noah as one of the top handful of centers in the league, it also exposed a weakness in the Sixers. Per ESPN Stats & Information, they shot a season-worst 33 percent inside 5 feet and saw nine of their 27 attempts blocked, all of which came courtesy of Noah.
This season-worst performance was representative of a larger issue they have with scoring baskets in the paint. In the eyes of ESPN Insider Tom Haberstroh, coach Doug Collins has to shoulder some of the blame:
Tom HarberstrohWhat went wrong with the 76ers?
"Not all shots are the same. Want an efficient offense? Pound the free throw line, penetrate into the paint and space the floor with a healthy dose of 3-point shooting. When it comes to shot attempts, that's where you'll get the most bang for your buck. Of course, the 76ers do none of these things. Instead, they have a love affair with the long 2, which is the most inefficient shot in the game because of its low conversion rate and slim payoff. A typical Sixers trip down the floor yields about eight passes around the perimeter and a long 20-footer at the end of the shot clock. Just what the defense wants. The Sixers take the highest percentage of shots in the midrange area according to NBA.com's stats tool, taking 2.5 midrange jumpers for every 3-pointer -- the fourth highest ratio in the league. Elsewhere, they're on pace to register the worst ratio of free throw attempts per field goal attempt in NBA history (0.145). If the Houston Rockets embody the analytical ideal with their shot selection, the Sixers are a stat-head's nightmare. It's worth pointing out that the unhealthy shot selection has stuck since last season even with an influx of new players. Collins points to a lack of effort, but his players aren't usually in a position to succeed in the first place. That's on him."