A THIRD OF THE WAY HOME

The 76ers are now twenty seven games into the season and by conservative estimations, at least another 27 or so until Andrew Bynum possibly starts his first game of the year.  

That would be poetic, as game #55 on the schedule is against the Orlando Magic featuring “Big Nik” and Maurice Harkless.  A return to action by Bynum before that game vs. the Magic would be a pleasant surprise, no make that an epic surprise, for the team and Philadunkia nation.  

But now is not the time to dwell on the Bynum drama.  No, now is the time to look at this team and assess where they sit in the NBA landscape and how the 7-6 project to look going forward.

After the jump, I’ll take a look at this season up to this point and how this team has done as well as take a look at the road ahead for the Sixers. 

Her are some concrete stats:

13 Wins, 14 Losses.

Philly leads the League in Home Games with 16 at WFC.

Memphis, OKC, Houston and Miami are the only teams who have played less away games.

According to Hollinger’s Rankings, teh Sixers have had the 2nd easiest schedule in the NBA,1.2% behind the Indiana Pacers and slightly ahead of the Orlando Magic.  As an FYI…Minnesota is rated as the 14th toughest schedule.

Basketball-Reference has the 76ers as tied for the 3rd easiest schedule with Minnesota and behind Orlando and Indiana.  

Team Rankings has the 76ers listed as the easiest schedule in the NBA.  Orlando is listed at 23rd, Indiana 16th and Minnesota 12th. 

When you factor Home minus Away games the 76ers are +5, IND is -5, Minnesota is -2 and Orlando is at zero.  When you put it all together, our Sixers have had the easiest schedule in the NBA so far this year by a considerable margin. 

The 76ers -2.4 point differential is the 7th worst in the NBA; ahead of Charlotte, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Sacramento and New Orleans.  These teams are also the only ones with a worse ratio of Points Per Possession, Offense : Defense

Philadelphia also plays the most high variance style of basketball in the NBA.  It is predicated on minimizing possessions for both teams and keeping turnovers to an absolute minimum.  This high variance style is exactly what you want to use if you’re consistently out-manned.

For example, OKC and Miami would prefer each game have as many possessions as possible.

Now let’s take a look at some rankings based on different systems.   We will use Hollinger, Basketball Reference, Sagarin and TeamRankings.

Hollingers has the 76ers ranked 27th in the NBA, BBReference 24th, Sagarin 23rd and Team Rankings has them 22nd.  

Everyone knows that George Karl is a personal favorite of mine.  A metric that he likes to use is Road wins are +1 and Home losses are -1.  The -3s of the NBA are Philly, Toronto and Phoenix.  The only teams worse are New Orleans, Charlotte, Sacramento, Detroit, Cleveland and Washington

Looking at all these numbers, doesn’t paint a pretty picture through the 1st 1/3 of the season and leading up to the halfway point of the year.  The next 14 games is a brutal stretch of basketball where the 76ers will be playing against a better team, every single night.  Before last night, my colleague and bff4life, Jeff McMenamin, predicted an at worst 7-8 record over the next 15 games.  

My view isn’t quite so rosy.  With the 4 easiest games being against Portland on a B2B+3rd Game in 4 nights, Phoenix on a B2B on January 2nd after spending New Year’s Eve in LA and 2 games against the Raptors, it certainly looks as though all the good times have rolled. 

I’ll revisit the team at the halfway point but until then……

This section is gonna be about some questions that I’d like the viewers to answer.

1.  The 76ers record is currently 14-13.  After the 41st game of the season, Their record will be???

2.  Orlando played most, if not all of its time with D-12 using a stretch 4.  ThadYoung shot 34.4% on 300+ 3’s before the arrival of DC at the age of 20/21.  Should he reintegrate the 3pt shot into his game?

3.  Holiday vs. Vucevic (Please check out the link)…Who is better and Why?

4.  Tomorrow the team trades Thad, Jrue and ET for Kevin Love, how do you feel?

5.  Why isn’t Delonte West in a 76er uniform?

6.  Fact or Fiction: Doug Collins gave the OK on the SwaggyP and Kwame signings this off-season?

7.  Fact or Fiction: Thad is the best player on the team

8. Fact or Fiction:  The team can go over the salary cap with resigning Bynum this off-season because of his Bird Rights. Should the team try to trade Dorell and SwaggyP both expiring contracts that can’t be replaced, for veterans like Tayshaun Prince, Ramon Sessions, Amir Johnson, Jared Dudley, Luke Ridnour etc; which will cause the the team to pay Tax penalties but increase it’s Championship equity going forward?  

9.  If the team doesn’t do that with its expiring deals, what if anything, does it say about the new owners?

Happy Holidays, I hope everyone enjoys themselves, their time with family and stays safe.

 

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