Buy Low on the Sixers

What a night. It seemed like every game was a blow out on Wednesday. The Sixers got steamrolled by the Magic, Boston played 5-on-1 against Charlotte, Miami made New York look like a D-League team, the Thunder caught lightning in a bottle and nearly beat the Kings in the first quarter, the Pistons jail house rocked Memphis into shooting just 36 percent from the floor, and San Antonio put the spurs to the Hornets. Six of the night’s 12 games were completely one-sided.

It was a tough night for fantasy prognosticators. Blowouts make it hard to gleam trends, and Wednesday night was the first opportunity for us to see how most of the NBA’s teams are going to structure their rotations this season.

Amidst the flurry of lopsided games, I noticed that one team may not have had an atypical night off. The Sixers' struggled mightily against the Magic. It would be easy to blame their struggles on poor match ups and the Magic’s dominance; however,  I’ve been covering the team all preseason and believe there’s more to it.

Coach Eddie Jordan joined the team last May and brought his ballyhooed Princeton offense with him. It’s an intricate system that requires players to constantly move, penetrate, slash, and make cuts. There are a number of counters and audibles that make it difficult for a new team to learn in a short amount of time. The NBA’s training camp and preseason last less than a month, and, while some of the Sixers met with Jordan over the summer to pick his brain about the offense, the team as a whole hasn’t been playing with it long enough to use it effectively against NBA-level defensive schemes.

Elton Brand recently suggested that the team wouldn’t have the whole of the Princeton offense installed until Thanksgiving (Nov 26). That’s nearly a month into the NBA season. If the team is still working out kinks for the first month of the season then their offense is going to be less than spectacular in the early going. Shots won’t fall and stats will flounder across the board.

When a team can’t run their offense soundly, chaos takes over. If players aren’t hitting their shots: assists go down, it’s harder to get back on defense, rebounding becomes more difficult, and starters’ minutes get cut when the team falls behind early.

Until the Sixers get their offense fully installed and can run it smoothly, they will struggle to produce fantasy stats and struggle to get wins.

This affects fantasy teams significantly because, if you have Sixers, you need to be patient. If you don’t have Sixers players on your team, they could become great buy low targets during the first month or two.

Jordan’s Princeton offense made Larry Hughes a 20-point scorer in Washington. The Sixers will produce great fantasy lines this season, but it isn’t likely to happen early. Watch how the team produces over the first few weeks and throw out some cheap offers for Andre Iguodala, Louis Williams, Thaddeus Young, Samuel Dalembert, and Brand. They’re going to struggle at first, but, after the all-star break, the Sixers will be one of the most potent fantasy lineups in the league.

Strike while the iron is hot. Buy low on the Sixers and reap the rewards later in the season.


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