Thursday, January 3, 2008

Reason number 2901 why I need NBA League Pass

TrueHoop put up a link today about the Sixers-Jazz game, describing the difficulties the Jazz had scoring in the 4th quarter against a "mediocre" defense (i.e. the Jazz were only getting outside jump shots). Immediately my finely-honed "how come the media always bad mouths the Sixers" mindset kicked in. After all, the Sixers have been a very good defensive team this season. According to the numbers included with the Dec. 31 power rankings, the Sixers were the seventh best defensive team in the league (in terms of efficiency) going into this week (giving up 104.7, compared to the league average of 107.1).

I was all set to post about how, yet again, people were not giving the Sixers enough credit. But then I plugged the numbers from the Jazz game into my spreadsheet. Oops. Turns out the Sixers defense was pretty crappy against the Jazz, turning in a 121.2 defensive efficiency rating. We didn't force turnovers (12.1%), nor did we force the Jazz into tough shots (TS% = 63.3). I guess I owe Henry an apology (or would have if I'd posted my initial thoughts)-- calling the Sixers defense in the game "mediocre" was actually being generous.

If I could actually watch Sixers games this year, I'd have known how poorly the Sixers had played defense and I'd be in a much better position to not get annoyed unnecessarily. Instead, I could get annoyed from actually watching the games!