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Nothing Free About Them

Does anyone here think that it's worth giving Luther Head a shot, since he's been waived by Houston? It's a low-risk gamble at this point and probably wouldn't cost much since his main priority now is to get some PT.

He showed some promise in his first two seasons before his injury, could easily become our best shooter.

He hasn't played since mid-january, but he's due back any day. I'd take a shot on him, that would mean waiving Rush, most likely, who would probably sign on w/ Boston or Cleveland and wind up hurting us in the playoffs :)

I think we have an extra spot on the roster, no need to waive anyone.

It's 15 max, right?

1. Iguodala
2. Miller
3. Thad
4. Sam
5. Speights
6. Lou
7. Willie
8. Theo
9. Evans
10. Rush
11. Marshall
12. Ivey
13. Jason Smith
14. Elton Brand

You are correct.

I definitely think poor free throw shooting contributes to losses. But they are only 'free' if you can make them. Since these guys are pros and this is a component of what they get paid to do, I don't see any reason why the forwards and guards are at 80%+. I'll cut the big guys some slack as their hands are so big (supposedly why Wilt and Shaq have problems).

I'd not be averse to getting Luther Head (or some other FA shooter like Salim Stoudamire or shooter of choice) in lieu of Rush if they aren't going to use him. What is the point of having him take a roster spot then. I'm guessing this isn't happening because of cap concerns - not sure how releasing Rush would work. They'd still be on the hook for his salary but not sure how much cap space they'd have to sign someone else.

Are minimum contracts guaranteed? I suppose. They're under the luxury tax, so it would just cost them the pro-rated minimum for Head over the final 24 games, assuming he'd sign for the minimum.

Tom Moore on Mar 1 at 21:00

I don't believe the Sixers are making a big push for Luther Head.

They get to the line a lot, so their misses are magnified. Your numbers at least are reassuring that it has not made a huge difference in W-L.

I think their outside shooting woes are a much bigger issue.

They can't shoot 3's, everyone knows that... But even just looking at 2pt jump shots they really struggle. Look at these numbers looking just at pt jump shots:

Their main shooters: Miller(38%), Iguodala(35%), Young (34%) and Lou(39%)are
all amongst the bottom 1/3 in the NBA. Only Green (41%) is even respectable (67th in the league and still bottom 1/2.)

So not only can't their PG/SG/SF not shoot 3's, but they can't hit shorter jumpers. Not a recipe for success when you want to open the floor for slashers.

On the flip side, looking at those same stats, Iguodala is rd best (behind Garnet and Lebron) at inside FG%. That is flat out amazing given I remember people complaining that he could not finish inside (except for dunks.) Iguodala deserves praise for adding to his game. He still can't shoot (and has gotten worse by stats), but he has greatly improved his inside shooting- particularly his left hand.

Absolutely. I remember checking those inside stats back in January and Iguodala's numbers were terrible. To me, it seemed like he was more worried about drawing contact than finishing. He's completely turned that around.

Mike reply to Brian on Mar 1 at 21:22

his left hand has gotten remarkably good. there are 2-3 plays a game where he finishes with his left that you leave you gasping, "OH shit!"

Very good article.

Stats and methodology to obtain stats are shortcomings, in and of themselves, to the game of basketball itself.

Regardless of discernment, stats have no bearing on the games when you miss 18 straight shots against the Nets, Devin Harris flings in a 40 something footer, or Thad fails to get out on Ray Allen for a game winnner.

A mouthful was said with this, - "When you get into the nitty-gritty of the games, which is much harder to accomplish using stats alone,.." - there are so many finer nuances of the game that come into play.

Quick thoughts...

I think it speaks to the shortcoming of stats alone. I think you can add observation to determine what stats to look up and refine the methodology.

For example looking at how missed free throws changed game situation based on when they were missed. Given how poorly the Sixers shoot threes did missed free throws put the Sixers in more late game situations in which they need to get a three vs. a 2? I would think those misses would have a stronger impact.

Speaking of impact, when the free throws were missed could be weighted based on a well-thought out assumption. Free throws missed earlier in a game could have a lower negative value because of the time left in the game to make up for them. Whereas free throws late in close games have a high negative value because they have more impact on game situation based on time and score.

I tend to agree with you, but there is a completely different school of thought, and it kind of follows along the lines of sabermetric analysis in baseball.

At the end of the game team A has X points, team B has Y points. How they get there doesn't matter, a missed free throw in the first quarter doesn't carry any more weight than a missed free throw in the fourth quarter.

Take the Nets game for example. Andre Miller's missed free throw in the fourth allowed the Nets to tie the game with a two, instead of going for a three, but look back to the third quarter when Lou Williams missed both attempts with 28 seconds left in the quarter. Give the Sixers 2 more points and the Nets never tie the game up (until Harris' miracle three).

Now, the argument can be made that both teams would've played differently, according to the score, had Williams made both of those shots, or even one of them, but can you say with any kind of certainty that Miller's miss affected the outcome of the game any more than Williams?

The most telling stat from the fourth quarter of the Nets game may be that the Sixers only went to the line 4 times the entire fourth quarter, rather than they only hit 2.

LeBron is un-clutch.

Check out this snippet from ESPN's Daily Dime:

LeBron James missed the first of two potential tie-breaking foul shots but made the second with 1.6 seconds to play, giving the Cavaliers an 88-87 win at Atlanta. Coming into the game, James had made 10 consecutive free throws to tie a game or take the lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter or an overtime period. His career totals: 21-for-30 (70 percent).

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