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City of Brotherly Lob: The numbers behind Philly's Ish Smith-to-Nerlens Noel alley-oops

Since Ish Smith's 2015-16 Sixers debut in Phoenix on Dec. 26, the point guard's lobs to Nerlens Noel have been the focal point of a revved up offense. Let's take a look at how dynamic their alley-oops have been.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Through their first 31 games this season, the Sixers' offense sputtered for only 91.8 points per 100 possessions, dead last in the NBA. Following the addition of Ish Smith on Dec. 26, the team's offensive production has jumped to 99.7 points per 100 possessions, up to 25th in the league over that span.

That final product is far from encouraging, but a near eight-point spike in production is extremely staggering. That margin is the difference between Golden State's league-leading offense and the Boston Celtics' 16th ranked offense.

Smith has not only brought a legitimacy to the Sixers' starting point guard position, but his ability to run Brett Brown's offense at warp speed, while mostly remaining under control, has allowed the team's breakneck offense from last season to return to fruition. With that, the deadly Smith-to-Nerlens Noel alley-oop has taken the league by storm.

Noel has converted 31 alley-oops on the season. Of Smith's 19 lob attempts to Noel, the duo has finished 17, or 89.5 percent, generating 1.79 points per possession — a rate that would rank more efficient than any dunker in the league's alley-oop production on the season.

Simply put, a Smith-to-Noel lob has become one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NBA. And as the Sixers have been entrenched in more and more close games, that sequence will continue to be a key crunch-time option.

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