There are stories in today’s Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer about how Sixers interim coach Tony DiLeo is demanding that his team shoot more threes. He’s so intent that they take more triples that he’s set three-point goals for each game and let players know that they’ll be benched for not shooting treys.
As someone who thinks he knows a little bit about basketball and puts himself through the regular agony of watching every Sixers game, I have to tell you, this sounds like an atrocious idea. Statistically, Philly is the worst-shooting team in the NBA – in their last nine games they’re shooting under 25% from behind the arc.
Beyond the hard stats, if you’ve seen the Sixers play, you know this is a bad idea. The bricks are plentiful. I think Andre Iguodala is a great player, but every time he takes a long jumper, I never, ever find myself thinking it’s money. And the rest of them? Grim at best, especially without Elton Brand in the paint to draw some of the defense’s attention from the perimeter.
I just think it’s a huge mistake to take a roster of guys with clear strengths and try to make them something that they’re not. They’re not the Mavericks or the Suns. This Sixers team is clearly at its best when the guys are running and trying to get to the hoop. They haven’t been running like they did at the end of last season when they made their nice playoff push and it shows in the standings.
There is one guy on the entire roster who makes a living with his jumper and that’s Kareem Rush (I’m not counting Donyell Marshall – He hasn’t been an NBA player in about five years or so). If you’re going to tell your team to shoot more threes, you probably want to utilize your best shooter, right? Rush was the only guy to get the DNP-CD last night and hasn’t seen the floor yet in 2009.
Unless this is a way to get them closer to Steph Curry, James Harden, Greg Monroe, or Brandon Jennings, then this is going to be a mess.