OK, I've had my day of self loathing. It's time to move on from the worst loss of the season. What better way to kick it off than to find an obscure stat which favors the Sixers. This one doesn't mean anything, really, but it's still fun. BasketballValue.com has released their adjusted +/-, per five-man unit, and you absolutely will not believe which unit is the best in the league (among units which have accumulated more than 35 minutes). Check it out, we'll discuss after the jump.
So Lou Williams, Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Thad Young and Theo Ratliff are the best five-man unit, huh? Check out the ratings, 132.74 offfensive rating (that's point scored per 100 possessions), 95.61 defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions). That's insane, right? The sample size is small, 57.43 minutes, but not that small.
Let's suspend disbelief for a minute and try to make some sense out of it. With this lineup, you've got four perimeter guys, all of whom can get out on the break, all of whom like to play the passing lanes and double. They funnel their man off the drive to Theo Ratliff, who's averaging 3.2 blocks per 36 minutes. That's five ways to start the break, and four legit ways to finish is on the other end.
If/when this lineup gets slowed down into the half-court, they use Ratliff to come out and set picks, basically, he's the anti-Sam in certain respects. He stays out of the way on offense, doesn't turn the ball over, cleans the glass a little bit. Basically, he doesn't do anything to hurt you, and he moves without the ball to get other guys open.
This is all conjecture, of course. I can't say that this is a lineup DiLeo has gone to in any particular situation more than another. It's just how the ball bounces. If I was coaching, and I came across numbers like this, though, I'd probably give this unit a whirl, especially in a game like last night's where the offense couldn't do anything.
On to more tangible things. As bad as yesterday's loss was, it's only one loss. The Heat and Pistons both won tonight, but the Sixers are still only 1.5 games out of the #6 seed and 3 behind Miami for fifth. They still have a couple of easy-ish games coming up, at home, then a showdown with the Heat. In the Eastern Conference, it's almost never too late to make a run. Cross your fingers and hope that these two off days will have a better impact on the team than the last break did.