The Problem is Shooting?


The big talker today was backup point guard Lou Williams.

Lou said there is one thing, only one -- just one -- that's it ... one thing that the Sixers must improve to win: Shoot the ball better.

No mention of turnovers (17.5 average), improved cohesion (the Sixers have looked out-of-sync at times), better defensive rotation (all those 3-point shooters with too much daylight), stopping the ballhandler off the pick-and-roll (more defensive confusion).

Nope. I asked Lou what needed to happen on this Southern Swing to the Sunshine State, and he said, "Making shots."

That's it? Yes.

"I think we play hard every night," said Williams, who is 19 for 48 from the field this season (12.5 points per game). "When we play well, we make shots. We lost that one and then the second half against Atlanta. It's just guys going cold on the same night."

Added Williams (and do we agree with Lou on this?): "I think we should be 4-0 at this point. Both those losses we should have won. We had chances to win."

Let's look at the first part: The shooting.

Loss to the Raptors: 34.5 percent from the field, 25 percent from three.

Win over the Knicks: 59.1 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from three.

Loss to the Hawks: 41.2 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three.

Win over the Kings: 59.2 percent from the field, 71.4 percent from three.

Can't argue with Lou on the numbers. But, how about the opponent? Few people (who are we kidding? NOBODY) are using the word "good" when talking about the Knicks and Kings. Not unless the word before "good" is "not."

Let's look at the second part: The Sixers "should be" 4-0.

I think the Raptors, who walked out of the Wachovia Center with an 11-point win, would disagree. The Raptors didn't stumble upon that win. Chris Bosh and Jason Kapono hit shots each time the Sixers threatened.

Now, the loss to the Hawks? I can understand debating whether the Sixers "should have" won. They were leading by 23 points. They had possession after possession during which they stumbled in their offensive sets. But still, as a team, they left Phillips Arena -- and Atlanta -- knowing they "should have" won that game.

Time to fly to Miami. The Sixers play Miami tomorrow night, then Orlando on Thursday. We'll be doing a Live Chat tomorrow afternoon at 3.


Photos: That's Slammin' Sammy talking with assistant coach Jim Lynam after today's practice. The second is Kareem Rush working on his shot after practice. Notice how I included the basketball, splashing through the net. Yes, Kareem can shoot. No, I can't take photos.