Small Sample Size Theater
Yes, it was the Sixers. And yes, it was just one game. But there isn’t another game until Wednesday, so this one game is all we have to go on for now!
With that in mind, I welcome you all to Small Sample Size Theater!
– The lineup often referred to as ‘The Closing Five’ or ‘The Big Five’ of Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Anderson, and Davis played 5.8 minutes together. In that stretch, they scored 20 points and gave up just 10. They shot 8 of 11 from the field, with five of those shots assisted on. They went 2-3 from deep, and would have been even more productive if they had hit their free throws, as they went just 2-4. If they would have hit those two free throw’s, they would have scored exactly two points per shot, a truly insane number.
The only negative in their time spent on the floor together was that they committed four fouls in less than six minutes. If that were to continue, the opposition would be in the bonus every quarter and some of these guys would be on the bench because of foul trouble. But that is just nitpicking. This unit would outscore people 168 – 82 per 48 minutes, so who cares about foul trouble?!
– The bench unit that we are most likely going to see moving forward (Roberts-Morrow-Evans-Ryno-Smith) played together for four minutes last night and outscored the 76ers 10-3. They had 11 possessions and went 4-7 from the field, 1-3 from deep, and 1-2 from the line, but on the down side, they also had three turnovers. The good news, however, is they got those possessions back, as they forced three steals and had a block that they recovered. With Smith doing a fantastic job protecting the rim this season and Evans playing plus-defense on the perimeter, this unit should be able to contain most second units.
– The five best two-man lineups (in terms of +/-) for the Pelicans all include Ryan Anderson, with the Anderson/Evans combo leading the way. Those two played a total of 18.2 minutes together last night and the Pelicans outscored the Sixers 50-35. The team shot 59.4% as a whole and hit 7 of 13 from deep while committing just 3 turnovers (less than 8 turnovers per 48 minutes).
– Some feared that Ryan Anderson and Davis could not be on the court together because of defensive limitations, but they were fine last night, as the Pelicans outscored the 76ers 33-25 in the 12.8 minutes they were on the floor together last night. The Sixers shot just 37.5% in that stretch and averaged .938 points per possession – WAY down from the 1.10+ ppp that the duo gave up last year.
– The ‘Closing Five’ put forth the following numbers when they were on the court:
eFG%: 81.8 (Team Average this year: 48.9)
FTA Rate %: 36.4 (Avg. 21.4)
Opp FG% : 25% (Avg. 47%)
– Ryan Anderson has a PER of 35.0 and is averaging 34.7 points per 36 minutes this year. Sixth Man of the Year? Pffff. How about M-V-P!
– And this has been an edition of Small Sample Size Theater everybody. Now, drive home safe.