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Sixers Stats: First Edition

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Shoutout to the statistical OG, Harvey Pollack.

Philadelphia 76ers V Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Basketball isn’t just about the numbers, and one of the favorite things for any fan to do is watch highlights and clips of their favorite players. But there exists those sects of fans that live for scouring the internet for quirky numbers and figures that illustrate fascinating features about the sport we love. That’s right, I’m talking about statistics. Every week, I’ll be posting any worthwhile numbers I can find that are tangentially related to the Sixers in any way, and grouping them under several different categories.

All stats via Cleaning the Glass and Basketball Reference — feel free to suggest new categories and segments in the comments down below.

Outliers of this Odd Season

  • Norvelle Pelle is one of seven bigs in the entire league to play at least 100 minutes without getting a single and-one make. Every time Pelle has drawn a shooting foul, he has missed the original field goal attempt.
  • The Sixers’ best and worst defensive performances both came against the same team — the Miami Heat. On November 23, 2019, the Sixers held Jimmy Butler and co. to a futile 80.3 points per 100 possessions, only to surrender a jarring 138.2 points per 100 possessions to the same squad on February 3, 2020, down in South Beach.

The Products of the Process

  • The Sixers finished below league average in offensive rating every year from 2007 through 2017, including four consecutive last place finishes from 2014 through 2017.
  • The now infamous 10-72 Sixers of 2016 actually had one of the best lineups in the NBA that played at least 100 possessions together. The five-man squad of Ish Smith, Hollis Thompson, Robert Covington, Jerami Grant and Nerlens Noel outscored teams by a ridiculous 32.4 points per 100 possessions, good for the 99th percentile of all lineups in 2016. They also posted an absurd effective field goal percentage of 62.9 as a unit.

Some Nostalgic Numbers

  • In combined NBA/ABA history, Moses Malone has the most offensive rebounds of all-time with 7,382 boards in total. Second on the list is the 7’2” behemoth Artis Gilmore with 4,816 total. To put this in perspective, the difference between Malone and Gilmore offensive rebounding totals is roughly the same as the difference between Gilmore and number 61 on the all-time list, the infamous Vin Baker. Of course, there’s a great chance that Moses might actually be trailing Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain by the letter of the law, as the NBA did not start tracking till the 1973-74 season when both of the legendary centers had retired.
  • Of any coach to serve as the head of team for more than 10 games, the Sixers’ coach in 1973, Roy Rubin, has the worst winning percentage in NBA history, posting a putrid 4-47 mark. Also worth mentioning from this incredible piece by The Ringer: Rubin only got the job by responding to an add in The Philadelphia Inquirer, lost 40 pounds over three months due to the stress of coaching the team, and permanently quit coaching after the Sixers fired him, deciding to become an investor in Broadway shows.

In Loving Memory of one Mr. Timothy John McConnell

  • Over his five-year career, T.J. McConnell has taken 36 percent, 36 percent, 38 percent, 39 percent and 41 percent of his shots from the short mid-range in each season, respectively. He has never ranked below the 98th percentile in the league in terms of shot frequency from that area on the court.

“Never change, my king...”