No Snipers, No Problem. 76ers' Defense, Bully-Ball Mentality Make up for Perceived Lack of Outside Shooting
The adage in business teaches us to buy when everyone else is selling. When going against the crowd, there is less competition for resources and an abundance of trade partners where favorable terms can be found. It has become a three-point shooting league. The team to emerge from this offensive movement will be the one that can force the opposition off the arc with elite defense and into the unfamiliar mid-range game where the reward is 33% less.
The lost art of defense, once highly valued in the NBA, has been replaced with three-point shots at volume. Teams are too eager to trade quick attempts in the hope of putting up rapid points on the scoreboard. But when teams are cold – they are freezing. If you take away the three-point shot, do they even know how to play in the mid-range? Successful teams take and convert the open shots given to them.
The Philadelphia 76ers underwent an overhaul this offseason. The team got taller and longer. Along the way they parted with JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler, leaving many to wonder where will the shooting come from? While still armed with an abundance of players who can score, none on the roster shoot above average from deep. This may sound alarming given the style of today’s game, but I am going to tell you that it is okay that the team is lacking the traditional outside threat. Redick certainly had games when he would catch fire and that should not be dismissed, however, it can be easy to romanticize the past and forget that:
- Redick was cold for stretches shooting, also;
- he had a below average handle for a guard that resulted in turnovers;
- he was not a threat to drive the lane, allowing lesser defenders a position on the court; and
- he could not stay in front of quick players on defense.