Thursday, July 10, 2014
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Hinkie hire should improve Sixers' offense

With Sam Hinkie at the helm it is safe to assume that the Sixers will dial back their dependence on maddening mid-range shots, and instead focus on higher-efficiency areas.

Hinkie hire should improve Sixers' offense

Sixers guard Jrue Holiday gets fouled driving to the basket. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Sixers guard Jrue Holiday gets fouled driving to the basket. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

It’s no secret that the Sixers’ offense was painful to watch at times last season.

Okay, it was downright difficult to watch a lot of the time last season.

A lack of offensive weapons was part of the problem, but shot selection was central to the Sixers’ struggles.

If you found yourself second-guessing a lot of shots within the Sixers’ offensive sets and wondering why so many  possessions ended in missed mid-range jump shots, you're not alone. The Sixers actually led the league in field goal attempts from the 15-19 foot range, which is widely considered the worst or least-efficient shot in basketball.

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Thus, considering how many of the Sixers’ shots stemmed from this low-efficiency area, it is no surprise that they were also tied for dead last in points per game; an ode to offensive futility.

At an average of 93.2 points per game, only the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls (who boasted one of the league’s best defenses to balance out offensive deficiencies) put up points at a lower rate.

Houston however, Hinkie’s former franchise, had the second highest-scoring offense in the NBA this season, putting up a blistering 106 points per game, and employing an extremely exciting style of play.

The Rockets ranked third in the league in shots attempted from less than five feet away from the basket, and were tied for first in three point attempts; obviously indicating a premium on high-percentage shots.

Not only did Hinkie’s Houston team place a premium on those shots, they also largely avoided low-percentage shots. The Rockets ranked dead last in shots attempted from 15-19 feet; the polar opposite of the 76ers.

So with Hinkie at the helm it is safe to assume that the Sixers will dial back their dependence on maddening mid-range shots, and instead focus on higher-efficiency areas.

“I don’t even care if [a shot] goes in or not. I’m all about, ‘Should it go in?’ Hinkie told Rockets.com in a 2008 interview.

“I can live with randomness. I mean, if it’s a close game in the end, yeah, I’m just like anyone else. But I just want us to play the odds all the time.” 

This quote alone provides insight to Hinkie’s approach.

Translation: He wants the team to attempt the best shots possible. If they don’t always go in, that’s okay, at least the odds were in our favor.

An elevated pace can be expected as well. The Rockets led the league in possessions per game, and offense early in the clock was emphasized.

The Sixers fancied themselves as a fast break-type team a couple seasons back, so increasing the tempo shouldn’t be too difficult. Jrue Holiday is capable of pushing the pace, and wing players like Evan Turner and Thad Young are able to keep up in the open court.

So while we may not have a clear idea of exactly how the Sixers lineup will look next season, we do have some insight on what will be expected of the offense, and if Hinkie can install a system similar to the one seen in Houston, it will be an enormous improvement.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain Assistant Sports Producer
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