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Study: Sixers Compared To 2002-03 Nuggets, In Position To Drastically Improve

By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- This was the most exciting Sixers piece I have read in a long time.

We can talk all we want about how Sam Hinkie's master plan is working, or not working for you "Hinkie haters" out there, but finally we have something quantifiable (I'm sure the "Hinkie haters" will classify this study as futile analytics).

According to Ben Alamar of, your Philadelphia 76ers are in position to turn this thing around.

Basketball Power Index (BPI) was used to determine that while the Sixers have a historically bad offense, their defense is one-point above average. In fact, the Sixers defense, according to the BPI database, is rated better than contending teams like the Clippers, Mavericks, and Cavaliers.

Alamar specifically compares the Sixers to the 2002-03 Denver Nuggets team, a unit that had the league's worst offense in the BPI index, but a defense that was two-points above average. That Nuggets team had five players 25-years-old or younger that played at least 900 minutes, while the Sixers are on pace to have seven.

The 2002-03 Nuggets, of course, drafted Carmelo Anthony with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2003 draft and instantly improved. The Sixers currently have the third worst record in the NBA and also own the 2015 first-round pick of the Miami Heat (top-ten protected).

"There are 14 teams in the BPI database that follow this general pattern (terrible offense and good defense)," Alamar writes, "And 50 percent of them improved enough the next season to be at least average, and 57 percent were above average two seasons later.

"The 76ers can play defense, so when young players improve offensively and/or they acquire other scorers, the 76ers are in a position to take advantage."

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