ROAD AHEAD: 13 HOME & 3 AWAY

Posted by: Steve Toll
01/07/13 3:47 pm EST

As the title suggests, the 76ers should have a favorable next 16 games.  Home court is a valuable commodity.  In the playoffs, it’s worth a shade over 5 points.  In the regular season, it is worth about half.  Attacking the rim is the biggest way to increase home court advantage or negate it.  For all intensive purposes, few teams have a smaller home court advantage than the 76ers.

The previous road trip was as successful as possible for a team that went 2-6.  All the games except for the San Antonio Spurs game, and half of the OKC game were competitive.  4 of the losses were against (projected) playoff teams out West and the team got a win against Memphis, which was the best, win of the year.  The Lakers win was expected to be swapped with the Phoenix loss but a good win-loss is better than a mediocre win-loss.

Unless Bynum returns, these next 16 games will feel like this past road trip.  Only 2 of the next 16 games would have Philly as the favorite on a neutral court.  If John Wall returns and is playing well by January 30th, that game is a pick em’ on a neutral court.

Along with Wall; Deron Williams is finally playing well, Bargnani, Toronto’s worst player, is hurt and Landry Fields (don’t laugh) is back in the rotation, Eric Gordon is back for the Pelicans, Roy Hibbert is rounding into form on offense and Rudy Gay won’t be stuck in an airport because of bad weather.

It’s not all bad, because next 16 games will be nothing short of high variance.  Pace is what will account for this variance.  At least 10 of these games will be played at a snail crawl which is a benefit to an inferior team.  Beating Lebron James in a game of  1 on 1 is a lot easier playing to 1pt than first to 10.  Only 3 of the 16 games(HOU, NYK, SAS) will Philly be against a team that shoots a better percentage from 3.  When it comes to turnovers, it’s once again only 3 of the 16 games (NYK, TOR 2x) where a team turns it over less than the 76ers do.  Last but not least, 8 of the home games feature teams that get to the Free Throw line at a below average rate.  What this boils down to is a slow paced game with lots of 3s and low turnovers will give the 76ers a chance to win more often than not.

These upcoming games are about keeping afloat until Bynum returns.  In the unlikely scenario that the team goes 8-8 over the next 16 games, the team will be 23-28 with 31 games to go.  Bynum is “projected to return”  by that date.  I can say with 100% certainty that 42 wins by the 76ers is enough to make the playoffs.  Will DC be able to keep the ship afloat for the next 16 games and make a run of 19-12 to end the season?  Any return before his projected date makes a run at the playoffs an easier task and more likely.

All that is well and good, but not realistic.  The Philadelphia 76ers are not a good basketball team.  The fact is, without Bynum they are tragically flawed.  Offensively they are atrocious no matter how you look at it and are 20th in Defense when you adjust for pace and other considerations.  Bynum has been deemed the savior of the franchise and his healthy return, is projected by many (not me) to make the 76ers a contender in the East as soon as he suits up.  It’s all conjecture at this point predicated on not only Bynum returning but everyone else on the team suddenly improving as well. So my question is this, What happens and who falls on the sword if this team  is only ~.500 for the games that Bynum suits up for?


 
 
 

16 Responses to “ROAD AHEAD: 13 HOME & 3 AWAY”

  1. Chris
    7. January 2013 at 16:38

    Would you please explain to me why you are a writer for a 76ers website? Every article you write is negative and annoying as hell, the only hope we sixers fans have for a exciting/fun rest of the season is Bynums return and you continuously downgrade him as a player and a team changer and basically just make us not want to watch our favorite team going forward. You are terrible!

  2. Rob Y
    7. January 2013 at 17:00

    1) “In the playoffs, [home court is] worth a shade over 5 points. In the regular season, it is worth about half” – Home court advantage is worth 4 points (If Sixers were playing a similarly skilled team, they would be -4 at Home, not -2.5).

    2) “Bargnani, Toronto’s worst player, is hurt” – Barngani is arguably one of their best players. He has been struggling this year but it’s obviously from a small sample size and possibly weak start. It is not due to his lack of ability.

    3) “If John Wall returns and is playing well by January 30th, that game is a pick em’ on a neutral court” – Wanna bet? Sixers are probably 2 points better on neutral court even with a healthy Wall.

    4) “Only 2 of the next 16 games would have Philly as the favorite on a neutral court” – We have a really easy schedule coming up in the next 16 games. We would be favorite on a neutral court in all these games, not to mention they are all home: NO, TOR, WSH, SAC, ORL, CHA.

    Boom, roasted

  3. Steve Toll
    7. January 2013 at 22:20

    Chris,
    My writing shouldn’t make anyone not want to watch the 76ers. It should temper your expectations to a realistic level so that upon Bynums return, everyone isn’t shocked when the team suddenly isn’t a juggernaut. Life isn’t always positive, and my writing parallels the teams situation now and going forward at least in my opinion.

    Rob Y,

    1. If you say so
    2. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    3. Washington has beat Miami and OKC this year with Wall and NeNe playing 17 minutes total in those 2 games. I’ll take WAS if those 2 are playing and Bynum isn’t
    4. Sans Bynum, Toronto and New Orleans are flat out better. Orlando is better top to bottom, albeit slightly. Sacramento has played a much tougher schedule, is 13-21 and has the best player of the 2 teams in DMC. Charlotte is an underdog on a neutral court

  4. Chris D
    8. January 2013 at 01:28

    Steve, You might be the most hated person in Philly haha…well except for the whole Eagles team. I agree with everything you said. This team is overmatched almost every night they are on the court without Bynum. The Sixers have to play great basketball just to get by weak teams. I have to admit I didn’t agree with you earlier in the season, but I now realize this team just isn’t a good team. Still love my Sixers, so I hope you’re wrong.

  5. Steve Toll
    8. January 2013 at 12:58

    Chris D,

    Thanks for reading. Fact is, which I’m sure you can tell, I’d rather be hated and honest/right above anything else.

    Nobody is doubting the talents of Andrew Bynum, in your opinion, how much can you expect Bynum to elevate the level of play of this team when he returns?

  6. Eric
    8. January 2013 at 16:04

    I just don’t see how this team will go 6-10 over these next 16 games.
    Consider their 8 game road trip. They played at least 6 teams that are obviously far better than them (Brooklyn, Memphis, Golden State, Los Angeles, OKC, San Antonio) plus another team that is probably better than them (Portland) and came away with 2 wins, both upsets. Keep in mind these are ALL on the road.
    Over the next 16 games they play just 7 teams that are obviously far better than them (Brooklyn, Houston, San Antonio, New York, Memphis, Indiana, and LAC) and another team that’s probably better than them (Milwaukee). Most of these are at HOME.

    Moral of the story is that, unless the Sixers are worse than they’ve performed in the past this year, the Sixers won’t have a losing record over the next 16 games.

  7. Jon
    8. January 2013 at 16:33

    I’m not gonna lie I normally hate your articles but this one was okay, I’m sorry rob but you are absolutely wrong on this one. I agree with pretty much all of your points Steve. I just hope they play like they should with Bynum. Looking at the lineup when you add in Bynum it seems successful, you can surround him with shooters and let him do work, all while persuading ET not to have to play hero ball and just do what he’s capable of. I think they could make a run, then again I could see Bynum coming in and the team just falling flat in its face.

  8. Chris D
    8. January 2013 at 16:50

    Steve, Even with Bynum back in the lineup this team is not a contender. Not really that close in my opinion. They will still be overmatched at almost every other position and as long as Kwame and SwaggyP are getting more than 5 minutes of playing time this team will be only be fighting for the 8th seed. Where do you see them finishing this season if Bynum comes back late February(this is when I think he will return)?

  9. Frank
    8. January 2013 at 19:22

    Honestly, Evan Turner is terrible. We’d be a better team if his minutes went to wright or nick young. He’s one of the least athletic players I’ve ever seen. I wonder if any team has any value for a 2/3 who’s only real ability is rebounding. Mediocre defender and ballhandler. May be a better player if he didn’t think he was the best player on the court. Seems like every game he dribbles himself into the lane and gets stripped. On the brightside, Holliday looks like he is finally getting the confidence, coming into his own.

  10. ken
    8. January 2013 at 20:40

    frank this is why ive been saying for the last 2 weeks we should try to trade him to the kings and get DMC from them first and formost. If that fails then……..try and trade him for a first round pick/expiring contract.

  11. Steve Toll
    8. January 2013 at 20:53

    Eric,

    The 76ers are worse than they have performed this year, they are closer to having 10 wins than 18 wins at this point. I’d love for you to explain how the 76ers are better than New Orleans, Orlando and Toronto at the moment.

    Jon,

    Thanks. There is no doubt that the return of Bynum will help but without him this is a 50+ loss team. How much of a difference can one guy make? Dead on with ET, he shouldn’t be playing hero ball or any ball at this point, he sucks.

    Chris D,
    I expect the team to top out at slightly above .500 with Bynum and the current roster. Dileo and DC mangled the roster this offseason and there is no fixing it unless they luckbox a stud in the lottery

    Frank,
    Don’t tell that to Jeff McMenamin. He would say the first 2 years ET had issues with “positional security” and this year he is forced to play SF, where he is outmatched and forced to try to do too much. Jeff would say, “On a team with CP3, James Harden, Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler, ET would thrive”

    Fact is, you are totally right about ET and sum it up perfectly but he is still better than SwaggyP but Wright should totally be playing more. Take my word for it, ET basically sucks a rebounding, look at his offensive rebounding numbers. They tell the real story.

  12. Frank
    8. January 2013 at 21:57

    Steve, you’re right about nick young not being very good either. Honestly at this point I would rather see Wilkins getting PT in our 2,3 rotation as sometimes you can do more by not doing anything at all. At least he wouldn’t take bad shots or turn the ball over as well possibly being the best defender in the bunch. (Still wish they would have taken a flier on Mayo this offseason, but he wouldn’t have signed that agreeable of a deal in PHI compared to DAL). No way Sacramento is trading Cousins for anyone on our roster. Nor do I think he and DC would be a good fit. Should’ve went with Monroe, Favors, George or Cousins (in that order).

  13. sean bonner
    9. January 2013 at 04:55

    Steve, You are risking losing your rep as “the most hated man in Philly”. You better step up your game. Still living in your parents basement or are you bunking down with Jeff M. in center city ? S.B

  14. Steve Toll
    9. January 2013 at 10:49

    Frank,

    This offseason robbed the franchise and fans any realistic chance of competing for the next few years, unless the team luck boxes a stud in this upcoming lottery. The team would have been better with no draft pick instead of Evan Turner and certainly all those guys.

    Any chance Dileo keeps his job?

  15. Steve Toll
    9. January 2013 at 11:08

    Sean Bonner,

    First I’ll say, some people have seen the light in regards to the 76ers and that is good to know that my words haven’t completely fallen on deaf ears.

    I think alot of my haters have hurt pride right now over how on point I have been about the 76ers and instead of acknowledging that fact, they’d prefer to slank in the corner…..

    Their thought/hope is, if/when Bynum returns and this team starts dominating the NBA, everyone will come back out of hiding to tell me how wrong I am about the 76ers and how I should finally stop writing/be fired.

    In reality, Philly is a 50 loss team without Bynum, while Chicago and Indiana who have been without Derrick Rose and Danny Granger all year, are winning 60%+ of their games and people still somehow have hope that the above scenario is a possibility.

    All the piss n’ vinegar has dried up in regards to me being the Village Idiot, as the sobering reality of the 76ers is streaming into the consciousness of fans of Philadunkia and the Delaware Valley.

  16. Bill
    12. January 2013 at 11:32

    Steve, you should not be writing about professional basketball, at all. Reading your work is painful, in that grit-your-teeth, damn did he really think this sounded good when he wrote it, kind of way. Your points, invalid as they are, are completely overshadowed by your inability to write in a way that entertains or engages the reader. You need to alter your style or follow a different path.

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