FanPost

The futility of Doc Rivers' offense, by the numbers


I posted this on the Tobi thread on Friday 12/17. It's probably worth a fan post for posterity, so here goes.


It's not easy to put tables into Coral but here's my best attempt:

.SEASON.| PASS | ASST | APTS | A/PS
-----------------------------------
2021-22 | 05th | 24th | 24th | 28th
2020-21 | 01st | 22nd | 21st | 28th
2019-20 | 08th | 07th | 07th | 14th
2018-19 | 03rd | 04th | 03rd | 14th
2017-18 | 01st | 02nd | 02nd | 12th
2016-17 | 01st | 08th | 05th | 27th

The post-process Sixers have always been at or near the top of the league in passes per game. But, look at the third column (total assists) and fourth (assist points created). We've fallen off a cliff under Doc. Our assists are way down, whether Ben runs Doc's offense (20-21) or not (21-22). Our passing creates far fewer points (APTS) meaning for the past two years we're making lots of passes that aren't doing squat. I would say that meets the eye test and then some.

The fifth column (assist-to-pass ratio) really underscores the efficiency of our offense, or lack thereof. Every year we ranked about the same in total passes. But for three years, under Brett and when either Ben or TJ were running the show, those passes were leading to something. Being 12th in A/PS while being first by a mile in total passes (2017-18) is remarkable; it basically says that the extra passes were generating proportionally extra assists (and, by extension, that we had guys on the floor who could actually finish with the basketball once they were set up properly). We were horrid in 16-17, because we didn't have finishers.

And, we've been horrid under Doc for two straight years. Absolutely wretched. Only the Pistons and Thunder are worse. Think about it -- 5th most passes in the league, 24th most assists, 28th in ratio. Let the implications of that roll around in your head. The current Sixers pass with no purpose and no success. Just one DHO after another at the top of the circle, one aborted drive and kick out after another until the AC's voice rings through the TV: five...four...three...two... One damn possession after another. Unreal.

Finally, if you're wondering what teams are the best at A/PS and whether it's a meaningful stat or not, there's this: in the last five seasons, almost always, whatever teams had Chris Paul, James Harden, or Jrue Holiday finished in the top 5. Steph Curry and Lonzo Ball's teams were always in the Top 10. So, yeah, it matters, and we stink at it.

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