Philadelphia 76ers Stat Monkey Brief: Sixers/Mavs (11/27/12)
When the Philadelphia 76ers welcome Elton Brand and his new team, the Dallas Mavericks, to the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, fans will get to see a distinct clash of styles. On one bench, Rick Carlisle’s Dirk-less Mavs push the ball up the floor (ranking third in pace), score a lot of points and give up even more. Doug Collins’ crew is quite the opposite, slowing the game down and playing some of the best defense in the league. So which teams' style of play will bend to the others?
In their last few games especially, the Sixers have shown an ability to pick up their offense to match their opponent. Against Oklahoma City and Phoenix, they played well above their typical offensive efficiency numbers, going for offensive ratings of 113.6 and 114.1, respectively, against their season-long number of 100.8. Combined with effective field goal percentages over 53 in both games, the Sixers weekend back-to-back set was easily their best sustained offensive showing of the year.
Those strong efforts were spearheaded by a trio of players - Thad Young and Evan Turner against the Thunder, and Jrue Holiday against the Suns. Darren Collison and OJ Mayo, the Mavericks’ starting backcourt, have proven to be among the team’s worst defenders so far this season. Collison’s defensive rating is 109, Mayo’s 111, and both have very low steal percentages for guards. In fact, the Mavs are pretty poor as a team in creating turnovers, with a defensive turnover percentage of only 12.8. With that kind of matchup, Turner and Holiday could be the guys to spur a third consecutive efficient offensive effort for the Sixers.