Blogs > Sixers Dish

A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Saturday, January 5, 2013


(Associated Press)
OKLAHOMA CITY – In one facial expression, Evan Turner summed up the 76ers' night. He raced up-court to play defense, clutching the wrist on his right hand with the thumb and index finger of his left, signaling to an official that he expected a call that he didn't get.

These days, the Sixers aren't getting too many calls. And coach Doug Collins doesn't blame the officials for that.

In a 109-85 thumping handed out by Oklahoma City, the Sixers attempted eight free throws Friday. All eight were taken by Nick Young. No one else. Collins was asked afterward if he informed his team of the foul shot disparity.

“What am I going to say? I've been saying it for three years,” Collins said. “We've got to be stronger, take that ball to the basket and make them foul us. For one guy to shoot a free throw tonight, and I'm not saying that has anything to do with the whistle, so I don't want that to be miscalculated at all.”

The Sixers are not a physically tough team. They're a team that's content to rely on jumpshots. That's partly opinion, partly rooted in fact. Consider these numbers: The Sixers rank 28th in free-throw attempts (600) and 28th in free-throw makes (436). And because they rank 26th in free-throw percentage (.726), they're not even making the shots they're earning.

“In certain situations, we rely on pull-ups and getting cleaner shots,” Turner said. “That's not the first day where people are like, 'We don't get foul calls.' That's what happens. I'm not about to waste my time relying on someone else giving me a call.

“Sometimes you go to the rack, get drilled and it's a no-call and it messes up the transition (game) the other way and it adds to the frustration. Certain people on our team would much-rather rely on their jumpshot than going to the rack to get the call.”

One could argue that Jrue Holiday, the Sixers' primary ballhandler, could jump-start the foul-shooting spree by driving. After all, Holiday ranks 63rd in the league in attempts from the line. But because Holiday is at his best driving and kicking for a team loaded with 3-point threats, the task of drawing contact and, subsequently, fouls has to fall on someone else. Maybe that someone else is Spencer Hawes, a big with only 62 free-throw attempts. Maybe that someone else is Lavoy Allen, another big who is severely underperforming when it comes to drawing fouls (34 FTA).

“Sometimes we're getting fouled and sometimes you settle for jumpshots,” Young said. “Just one of those games. We've got some very talented offensive players here and any given night, it could be an attack night or it could be a night where they could feel good going up with their jumpshots.”

There have been plenty of those nights for the Sixers. For their sake, and for the sake of finishing an eight-game roadtrip with a win Saturday at San Antonio, maybe they should drive the lane instead of shooting jumpers.

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