Prior to the season I said we'd break the season down into 10-game segments. Predict the results of the upcoming 10, dissect the results of the previous 10. After the jump we'll take a look at where we've been and where we could be going. Make sure you vote in the poll as well.
I had the Sixers pegged at a .500 record after the first ten games, with wins over New Jersey, New York, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago. As fate would have it, I was one game off in on the record, but still managed to pick three individual games incorrectly.
I never expected the Sixers to play this poorly, especially on the defensive end. I figured the PO would be pretty ugly in its infancy, but I don't know how anyone could've predicted the defensive collapse we've witnessed.
Of the ten games, I'd say the Sixers played one complete game (against the Bucks) and put together at least one solid quarter in all the other games. Their offensive rating is actually down from last season, although their eFG is up (.485 to .501). The offensive production has fallen off mostly because their offensive rebounding rate is way down (.313 to .248). They're also turning the ball over more.
On the defensive end, the eFG has risen by 2.4%, turnovers forced are the same, defensive rebounding is actually better and they aren't getting hurt at the line as much as last season. It's the eFG, which is heavily weighted by the three-point efficiency of the opponents. They also probably aren't fouling as much because so many shots are uncontested.
There aren't too many positives to be found after roughly and eighth of the season has gone by. Here's some data pulled from the rotations chart.
Best/Worst By Position (basically, this is the highest and lowest +/- for any player who has played the position, while at that position. So Sam's number will be the combined +/- of every lineup where he was at the five, and so on)
- Center - Sam/Jason Smith: -1 Marreese Speights: -39
- Power Forward - Elton Brand: +5, Thad Young: -31
- Small Forward - Rodney Carney: +3, Jason Kapono: -25
- Shooting Guard - Willie Green: +7, Lou Williams: -14
- Point Guard - Lou Williams: +14, Willie Green: -29
Anyway, just a quick look at one of the splits, available from the rotations chart. Doesn't really mean a whole lot at this point, good or bad.
Now that we've looked back, let's take a look at the next ten games on the schedule:
- Wed, Nov 18 Charlotte
- Fri, Nov 20 Memphis
- Sat, Nov 21 @ Cleveland
- Tue, Nov 24 @ Washington
- Wed, Nov 25 @ Boston
- Fri, Nov 27 Atlanta
- Sun, Nov 29 @ San Antonio
- Mon, Nov 30 @ Dallas
- Wed, Dec 2 @ Oklahoma City
- Sat, Dec 5 @ Charlotte
Three more back-to-backs crammed into the next two weeks, including trips to Cleveland (they are also on the back-end of a b-to-b for this game) and Boston (Boston has 2 off days heading into this game. Sounds fair.) on the ass end of the first two, then a Texas two-step for the third. This does not look pretty. They do have four games against sub-.500 teams (two vs. Charlotte, one @ Washington and one vs. Memphis).
I have no idea where to begin to make predictions, nor do I have any idea how the Sixers measure up to these teams. If we're basing it on their performance over the first 10 games, 2-8 is probably realistic. If we're basing it on what we've seen over the past two seasons, I think maybe you can pump that number up to 4-6, with them dropping one of the games against the sub-par teams and picking up an improbable win against one of the better teams. I just don't see how you can climb out on that limb right now, though.
I think I'm going to split the difference and predict 3-7. I may have been more bullish (or foolish) if Speights was in the lineup, but I just think his absence will be felt and I'm not 100% confident his lost minutes will be given to Elton Brand. I have the Sixers winning the next two against Charlotte and Memphis, then picking up another win on the day after Thanksgiving at home against Atlanta. They play Atlanta well and I'm hoping they'll be playing with a chip on their shoulder after a tough road trip. If they pick up a fourth win, it could be either @ Washington (2-7), @ Charlotte (3-6) or against one of the legit teams. Nothing would shock me with this team right now. They may catch fire on jumpers at the right time and shock someone.
Vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments:
Also, check out the field trip update, there are still openings.