Basketball theory: The Sixers

I find basketball to be a very simple game, put the ball in the hoop. There are many different ways to accomplish this, including:


Run-N-Gun: This is the system the Sixers currently employ, teams that also employ this style of play are the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks, the Miami Heat will likely also embark on this path, as it's the best way to maximize their roster's talent.


Post-Play: Almost extinct because of the lack of truly talented offensive bigs, other then the Lakers, I can't think of another team that can or does run it's plays from the post.    Rick Adelman's Sacramento Kings were a  terrific example of this play. 


Guard play:  This is the most dominate style of play, because we're getting alot of talented guards recently, the Spurs, Mavericks, Hornets are among many other teams that rely on their star 1 or 2 guard to get the bunk of their points.   


The million dollar question is: How are the Sixers situated to play?   It's kind of interesting,  Spencer Hawes gives us a big man that can actually play in the post.  But he's more of a passing big then a scoring big.  The 90's Kings had Webber/Divac.     We need Speights to step up and really become the 2nd big in the rotation, that and/or Thad really strengthens and bulks up into a Marion-type 4.   The other issue is perimeter shooting, this is also an issue with the run-n-gun system.  Generally speaking,  you like to pass out of the post to the open 3pt shooter.


Unless as mentioned above and Thaddeus Young can  become a Shawn Marion hybrid, the only starter that we know has a 3pt shot is Jrue Holiday.  Turner is very much  an unknown and Iguodala's outside shot has long been clarified as non existant,


Conclusion: Untill proven otherwise, the Sixers don't have enough shooters or enough quality from the front-court to play this style with 82-game success.  But a year or two from now and with the right draft picks, hmmm...


The Run-N-Gun: The Sixers made the post-season in back-to-back years before EFJ using the run and gun style of play.  Yet, this Sixers team misses the one crucial element that allows the Hawks, Suns to win games: Outside shooting.  Yes, we have Kapono and Nocioni but do you see these guys earning major minutes?  Our system killed us as much as it helped us(that's why we were .500) in that we ran off steals and turnovers.  But we also gave up open 3's and driving lanes.   We do have alot of playmakers. Holiday, Turner, Iguodala, Young, Lou. 

The key to being able to successfully run this system this year, relies on the perimeter defense of the HTI trio.(HTI=Hitting The Ignition, I just thought of that)  We don't have Samuel Dalembert to protect the paint this year, so much like the 2005-07 Pistons, our perimeter defense must be our calling card.   Hawes does have good shotblocking numbers,  but I suspect Hawes is more of a weakside shotblocker then a guy that'll patrol the paint. 

Conclusion: For the Sixers to make the playoffs for a 3rd time in 4 years with this system, relies on Evan  Turner becoming an ALL-NBA defender in his rookie year.   Tough expectations, but that's exactly what we're losing without our safe fail in the rotation. 


Guard Play:  You generally like having alot of guards that can make plays. In that, this is actually the Sixers strongest point.  Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams are both guys that can score the ball, Jrue being more of a pure point and Lou being a scoring guard.  The best way to make a system like this work, is where the 3rd guard comes in and brings something different. I neglected to mention Jodie Meeks, but he's a very solid 3rd guard.   That and if Turner can bring something else to the table as well, that'll be really important.


Conclusion: I think we have great guard play,  if we can get all 4 of these guys 15 or so minutes we'll be fun to watch.

Overall: I see us as a half full/half-empty team. We got some post play, some good guard play. Not enough of either to be a great team, whether we have enough to make the playoffs again remains to be seen. 

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