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The Sixers Are Bad Foul Shooters, But It Doesn't Matter Much

This is not a Sixer.
This is not a Sixer.

As I said last week, the Sixers need to get to the line more. They're near the bottom of the league in free throw rate, and for a team that wins as often as they do, history says it's unsustainable that they'll continue winning as much as they have. But as everyone has pointed out, not only are the Sixers bad at getting to the line, they're pretty terrible at making the shots when they're there also.

The league average in foul shooting is 74.7%. The Sixers are ranked 27th at an average of 71.5%. That's bad. OK. They've made 363 out of the 508 foul shots they've taken. In order to get to league average, they would have had to make 379 of those free throws, a difference of 16 makes. So basically, the Sixers are 16 points behind where the average is in the league. That isn't much. In fact, that's barely anything.

The Sixers have played 27 games. If you were to distribute those 16 makes over 27 games, they'd have an extra point in every game but 11. The Sixers have lost only one game by one point (last night against the Clippers) and they lost it because Chris Paul made an unbelievable shot. I'll give them the overtime game against the Nuggets as well, since it was tied at the end of regulation and the one point would have THEORETICALLY put them over the edge. You can't assume that if a shot went in, the game would have played out the same way (it wouldn't) but for this exercise we can.

16 points is not a reason to think the Sixers are worse than they actually are. The fact that the Heat have taken over 200 more foul shots than the Sixers have is a better one.

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