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The Unusual Suspects

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The Philadelphia 76ers are shooting 41% from three in 2010 (32/78). The new year is now five games old and while the Sixers stretch of exemplary shooting from downtown has been a pleasant surprise, what's downright shocking is that Jason Kapono hasn't hit a single bomb since New Year's Eve.

The oddity of this shooting streak actually gets stranger than simply seeing Kapono's absence. Check this out, the Sixers best three-point shooters prior to the first of the year (Kapono, Thad, Ivey and Jason Smith) have shot a combined 1/10 in the new year. The rest of the team has shot 31/68.

Who's the ringleader? How about Lou Williams, who has hit 10/21 since January 1, after draining only 23/78 (29.5%) in all games prior. Willie Green has been hot as well, raising his percentage from 34% to 37.5% with 5/9 shooting from beyond.

Here's where everyone's three-point percentage lies after 39 games:

  • Iverson: 44.4%
  • Ivey: 43.8%
  • Kapono: 40.5%
  • Jason Smith: 39.1%
  • Willie Green: 37.5%
  • Rodney Carney: 36.4%
  • Lou Williams: 33.3%
  • Thad Young: 32.9%
  • Jrue Holiday: 32.7%
  • Andre Iguodala: 32.7%
Believe it or not, the Sixers are pretty mediocre as a team, shooting 34.7% from three on the season. If you recall, it seemed like a monumental leap would be necessary to get to average from where the team was last season.

Of course, along with the improved accuracy from deep has come a precipitous drop in three-point defense, the Sixers are still dead last in defending the three, by a large margin.

So here's the question, is it sustainable? Willie's career high from three prior to this season was 32.5%, Iverson's top was 34.5% but everyone else is at least close to their career numbers. I have to think the overall percentage is going to drop a little bit considering Kapono can't find the floor anymore, but maybe the inside out game with Brand and the drive and kick game of Iverson and Jrue are really paying dividends. Giving the Sixers better looks at threes.

Who knows. Something to keep an eye on, though.

by Brian on Jan 12 2010
Tags: Basketball | Shooting | Sixers |