Sixers Use Analytics Even on Practice Court
If you looked at the Sixers shot chart last season you'd be very impressed by their offensive execution. You would be if you ignored that minor detail about whether or not the shot actually went in, at least.
As we looked at during the offseason, the Sixers Expected Points Per Shot was 3rd best in the league last season, the teams first season under the Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown regime. They did many of the things you would expect a good offense to do, including getting a high percentage of their shots at the rim and from beyond the three point line, while avoiding that inefficient mid-range jump shot.
Nylon Calculus doesn't have the data yet for 2014-15, but the shot chart is similarly exemplary. They're 3rd best in the league at generating shots within 3 feet of the basket, which makes up over 36% of their field goal attempts. They take the 2nd fewest attempts from mid-range, with only 9.9% of their field goal attempts coming from between 16' and the three point line, trailing only Sam Hinkie's former team, the Houston Rockets. They are about mid-pack in free throw rate (29.3%, 14th), while getting the 6th most of their field goal attempts from beyond the three point line, with 30.4% of their field goal attempts coming from deep.
Yet despite all that, the Sixers rank dead last in just about every meaningful offensive metric. They have by far the worst offensive rating in the league at 90.2, while also having the worst true shooting percentage in the league, at 48.1%. League average for those two metrics is 106 and 53.9%, respectively.
The players, more or less, have the offensive freedom that few teams this offensively challenged would enjoy.
At least for now.