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

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sixers leaning on league-best pace to help them break their losing streak


If the 76ers hope to snap their season-long losing streak, they won’t go outside the box.

It’s no secret that the Sixers are an up-tempo team. They lead the league in pace, with 102.7 possessions per 48 minutes. They’re the only team averaging more than 100 possessions per game. Reverting into half-court sets at this stage of the season isn’t the answer.

“If you look back and say, ‘What’s our best environment to score?’ it’s no doubt an open court and in speed,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “Amazingly we still average 100 points. You’d think with our resumes, we could be down at the bottom, but we do it because we turn people over and we run.

“There’s a lot of other things we don’t do. When it becomes just a half-court game, this team has some real issues in how do you score because of the obvious deficiencies we have.”

Those deficiencies do not include pace.

The Sixers rank fourth in the league with 17.5 fastbreak points per game, and second by forcing opponents into 17.0 turnovers per game. Both of those numbers are largely a byproduct of a young team bereft of decent jumpshooters who would rather get out and ran than play a set offensive system.

So, yes, if the Sixers have a shot at breaking their 15-game losing streak – with their next crack at it Saturday against visiting Utah – it’ll be through the utilization of one of their few strengths.

“That’s one thing we want to do is run, so we don’t get caught in that (half-court) position,” Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams said. “Keep trusting the 3-point line. Keep trusting our shooters, that they can step into it and knock down shots. We all have confidence in each other that we’ll make the next play.”

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