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The Princeton Offense and You

deepsixersuede on Jun 1 at 8:13

Brian, well done;that Sacramento team was a beautiful thing to watch,flat out the best passing team I have ever watched.Your point about Jordan adjusting to injuries to change the "pace" of his team also makes me feel good.Addressing this roster with a heady p.g. and a spot up shooter this summer is the way to start and weeding out the guys that "don!t get it " by his first seasons end [ironically that is when Sam, Willie and Reggie may become tradeable] gives Jordan a good timetable to turn this team around.I hope our players can get it ,for the most part.Speights knack for cutting to the rim last year could along with the rest of our athletes make defense a living hell for opposing teams.Good screening will be key and this has not been one of this teams strength!s as much because the guy recieving the screen never seems patient enough to let things develop. I actually think we are an above average mid range shooting team so more open shots will improve our offense from the gitgo.

We have to hope Jordan is a good teacher, no one on this team utilized screens well last year, that's going to be crucial in this offense.

Good research, Brian. One thing I am curious about; I remember hearing that Carrill got the idea from the 60s Celtics and 70s Knicks. It is an interesting thing to note, because, on RealGM, I have seen multiple debates involving Bill Russell. Some of the wise old heads talk about how Russell was used as a high-post passer and facilitator in the Celtics half-court offense, hitting people for lay-ups and jumpers. Now, sounds like Brand is going to be in the Russell role.

The 70s Knicks also had Phil Jackson, & that playing style is how he ended up believing that the Triangle would work for the Bulls.

I also wonder how the Nets ran the offense while EJ was there, what the distribution was?

Either way, the more I think about it, the happier I get. If Stefanski can get smart shooters who can defend, then we might not be that far away?

What do you all think?

My biggest concern right now is defense. Sacto and NJ defended very well. The Wizards just tried to outscore everyone.

Sean reply to Brian on Jun 1 at 21:52

Yeah, I had concerns about that. Though I will say he talked a good game today about his defense. The implication that Kidd and Martin as hardnosed two-way players allowing the team to be good defensively bodes well for a squad led by Dala and Brand, don't you think?

john reply to Sean on Jun 1 at 12:29

It's called the Princeton offense and he's given credit but it goes back a while according to some wikiepdia (unreferenced) stuff and some other stuff I read other places, the name escapes me, but Carril was building on something others had done and just sort of got it right.

Kind of like Billy Beane gets credit for implement what Sandy Alderson told him to do (but left before Beane got going full bore on it)

Chris reply to Sean on Jun 1 at 23:04

As I recall, the Princeton offense was created by Butch van Breda Kolff. Carrill is just the most famous practitioner. Sort of like PJ gets credit for the triangle but it was his assistant Tex Winter who was the inventor.

John reply to Chris on Jun 2 at 0:01

Thanks, that's the name I couldn't remember, I knew it was something like that

WIkiepdia has an unattributed 'factoid'

though its roots may be traced back to Franklin “Cappy” Cappon, who coached at Princeton in the late 1930s.

sixers phan on Jun 1 at 10:44


this was the article i have been wanting to see. Is there data on the Nets to compare as well?

Also, is it possible that we run Speights and Brand at the 4-5? It seems like both of those guys are fluid offensive bigs that could flourish in this system.

So i guess the key is Stephen Curry. You need at least one pure three point shooter in the starting 5.

I'm kind of excited.

That Nets team was a different animal altogether. They were middle-of-the-pack offensively (17th in efficiency), but first in defense in 2001. They were almost exactly the same the following season. Both years they went to the finals.

Neither team really had a marksman from three. Kidd led the team in 3PA both seasons, but only shot around 30% on a ton of attempts.

I agree, Brian, that after looking at your data especially seeing what he did with the wizards that I feel better about EJ. I like the starting lineup with Iggy, Thad, Brand, Sammy and a rookie point who can hopefully shoot. And unless we can pull off some miracle trades, I like the idea of having a second unit that can just flat out shoot it, even if they can't do much else (maybe when they're in they can play a junk zone defense to give the opponent a different look and to minimize their own defensive deficiencies). If we could move Lou (who I'm not sure fits the Princeton Offense) and Speights the bench could look like:

Willie (probably can't move)
Jason Smith
3-4 guys who can shoot lights out and not much else (people like Korver, Redick, Trajan Langdon, Pittsnogle -- I know, I'm dreaming).

Trajan Langdon? Is that guy even in the NBADL?

He plays in Russia -- realistically it'd probably never happen him coming to the sixers; he's more of a prototype of a player who I think would be cool to have a few of on the second unit. Salim Stoudamire is another one that comes to mind.

Well done, sir!
This makes me feel better, but the defensive side of this still scares me.
As you said before, they'll be winning games the Wizard's way - close game all the way then losing by 1 point in the final seconds.

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