The Pace of Play Will Be Insane

Posted by: Steve Toll
10/05/13 12:36 pm EST

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How many times could I beat Lebron a James in a game of 1 on 1 if we played 100 times?

The intuitive answer is zero, I’d never ever win.

Well I am here to tell you, and this is something I don’t like to do, that you’re oh so wrong.

I could beat him and more than once, no doubt about it.  Since it’s my ball and my court, I set the rules.  First to score wins and I always get first possession.  The above scenario is a stupid hypothetical, but after the jump I’ll explain why it has real world applications for the 76ers in 2013-14.

In the simplest terms, the 76ers season is all about a 25% chance at the #1 pick in the 2014 draft.

You’re going to be shocked when you look on the sideline and don’t see Chip Kelly coaching the 76ers this year even though we all know Brett Brown is the coach.  The pace that this team should be playing with this year will be insane.  The team averaged 91 possessions per game last year, 5.1 less than the league leading Houston Rockets.  The same reason I expect the 76ers to lead the league in possessions per game, is the same reason I can beat Lebron James in a game of 1 on 1.

The shorter a game is, the more variance is in play.  It’s the same reason Philadelphia won 34 games last year and 35 (in a 66 game season) the year before.  Doug Collins’ coaching style managed to hurt the 76ers in both years all because of variance.  The 76ers last year were clearly a sub 30 win team and the 2011-2012 team was obviously a 40+ (in a 66 games season) win team.  That won’t be an issue this year.  The 76ers are going to have the lowest variance in recent history when you their consider pace and 3pt shooting.

Other than Thad Young, the 76ers don’t have player worthy of playing of playing 30+ minute per game this year for what they are looking to accomplish .  With 240 minutes of playing time to dole out, on any given night, there will be ~205 minutes to split between everyone else.  Except for Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, everyone else on the team is a mixture of rookies, career journeymen at best, D-League players and guys with injuries.  While it will come as a bit of a surprise, I fully expect minimal playing time from Evan and Hawes this year.  I’ll talk about the reasons why in a later piece.

Which brings finally brings the point of all this.  The better your team is, the more possessions you want in a game.  The worse your team is, the less possessions you want.  The previous sentences are contingent upon winning basketball games as a priority, which Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown have made it clear is not the case.  As you look at the 76ers, you notice a dearth of 3pt shooting talent and 3pt shooting is the 2nd most high variance thing you can do to win basketball games after slowing down the pace.  The 76ers have losing on their minds and the right pieces kind of players to do it even when they play good basketball.

 

Steve Toll is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him of Twitter @BasementGM.

You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.

 


 
 
 

6 Responses to “The Pace of Play Will Be Insane”

  1. Alex
    5. October 2013 at 13:05

    I underhand that Hinkie is trying to rebuild by developing talent. But recently he is going overboard in my opinion. He signs and waives I underhand that Hinkie is trying to rebuild by developing talent. But recently he is going overboard in my opinion. He signs and waives folks that I have not heard of or I have not seen any assessment of them anywhere. If he is going overboard for tanking that is ok but developing talent,…. I do not know.layers that I have not heard of or I have not seen any assessment of them anywhere. If he is going overboard for tanking that is ok but developing talent,…. I do not know.

  2. Alex
    5. October 2013 at 13:08

    Also what ever happened to Kasemi? he dispersed all of a sudden. Sam was very high on him.

  3. Philadunkia
    6. October 2013 at 09:45

    Alex,

    Arsalan signed to play in Iran…

  4. Dog
    7. October 2013 at 12:17

    Toll makes a good point about pace/variance/outcomes but it is irrelevant for the 2013-14 76ers. This team stinks and they will lose no matter what pace they play. It’s gonna be ugly but it’s all worth for a top pick in this coming draft.

  5. Hank
    8. October 2013 at 17:26

    Actually, the point isn’t irrelevant. The purpose of this season is two fold: lose games and develop players. The good news for the Sixers is getting as many possessions under their belt this seasons accomplishes both of those goals.

    The only caveat is that the pace should only be elevated to the point where Brown still feels comfortable that his players are developing on each possession.

    That said, why the hell would Hawes and Turner not get a lot of burn this year? In my mind, Hinkie should absolutely be looking to Pad Turner’s counting stats as a primary ball handler so he can increase his value and trade him at the deadline. Hawes is 25, and probably past all of his primary development, but he is still not quite into his prime, so he should see burn as well for the sake of improvement. Turner is useless, but in the right situation Hawes can be a useful player. No reason to sit him diminish both his development and his value.

  6. Dog
    9. October 2013 at 10:40

    Hank,

    Your middle paragraph is the key point – the team should play at the pace that optimizes long-term player development. Pace should not be driven by the need for more reps for the youngsters, plenty to go around. Pace should not be driven by the desire to lose, that will take care of itself with this team.

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