Blogs > Deitch on the 76ers

Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Here come the Sixers ...

Three weeks ago it seemed crazy to think that the Sixers could aim for the Knicks and the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But even when the national hoops media were fawning over New York and Amar'e Stoudemire at that time, a closer peek at the numbers — offensive and defensive efficiency, strength of schedule — said that the Knicks weren't nearly as impressive as their record indicated.
How quickly things changed. They had to struggle past the Wizards at home last night to end a six-game losing streak and maintain a four-game lead over the Sixers.
Don't be surprised if the Sixers enter a home-and-home with the Knicks in two weekends with a chance to draw even in the standings, and considering the Knicks play a style similar to the Suns — a style the Sixers enjoy — don't be surprised if the Sixers are ahead of the Knicks when the All-Star break arrives.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pacers 57, Sixers 49, Iguodala minus-12

It's halftime, and this much is certain: Andre Iguodala isn't helping the Sixers. They have looked awful when he has been on the court, and he is showing the frustration. In the 13 minutes he has been on the court, the Sixers have been outscored by 12 points. In the 11 minutes he was on the bench, they outscored the Pacers by four points. And it isn't tough to see how his rust is causing a domino effect with his teammates. He has never been a very productive halfcourt offense guy, and when he's rusting and limited with his quickness he's practically worthless. And even his defense has been pretty shoddy. He's just not ready.

If Collins wants to win this game, he needs to tell Iguodala to take a seat.

Iguodala Update

Although he is listed as a gametime decision, after shootaround Iguodala spoke as if he fully expected to play tonight.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Are the Sixers better with or without Iguodala?

Whether you were or weren't an Andre Iguodala fan during his first six years in the NBA, all had to acknowledge this much: The guy was durable. Iggy missed just six games in six years, all of which came in 2006-07, his third season.
While showing up for work everyday deserves admiration, it did leave this mystery unsolved: How important is Iguodala to the success of the team?
This season, Iguodala has missed 10 of the first 35 games with a Achilles' tendinitis. And so, for the first time in his career, there are some numbers that can be crunched and analyzed to get at least a feel for his importance. It isn't a huge cross-section, but as long as the 10 games are put into context, it can serve a purpose.
First, let's start with the simple breakdowns: The Sixers are 14-21 this season. They are 10-15 with Iguodala, 4-6 without him. A .400 winning percentage with him, .400 without him. Doesn't get much more neutral than that.
Of those 10 games without Iggy, seven were on the road; however, his 25 games were pretty much split down the middle (12 home, 13 road). So, that gives the No Iggy Sixers a slight edge over the Iggy Sixers when it comes to degree of difficulty.

Now let's analyze some of the numbers, courtesy of assistance from

There is a system used on the site that provides an offensive and defensive rating for each team. It's based on points scored, but uses the pace of play to weigh the numbers to account for efficiency. For the season the Sixers have a 104.9 Offensive Rating, which ranks 20th in the 30-team league. However, in the 10 games Iguodala missed, the team's O-Rating was 107.03, which is slightly above the league average of 106.4.
On the flip side, the Sixers' Defensive Rating for the season is 105.6, which is 13th in the NBA and slightly better than that 106.4 midpoint. However, in the 10 games Iguodala missed, their average was 107.3. So, as one might expect, the Sixers are a better defensive team when Iguodala is in the lineup than when he's out. But what might be of a surprise is that the Sixers are not only a better offensive team without Iguodala, but that improvement has been more significant than the defensive drop-off.
(It should be noted that the 10 teams the Sixers played without Iguodala have average Offensive and Defensive Ratings almost dead-on the league average, so there's no major deviation from the norm at play.)

I also investigated another possible factor: The Jeckyll & Hyde Sixers between the first 16 games, when they were 3-13, and in the last 19, during which they are 11-8. Iguodala happened to miss five games each during those two disparate stretches, and the differentials are largely the same, albeit the Sixers have become a far more offensively driven team during their stretch of success.

Read that one more time: They have been a better team when they are a more efficient offensive team, as opposed to a team that leans on its defense.

In that sentence might reside the answer to the question at the top of this entry.