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Philadelphia 76ers Stat Monkey Brief: Sixers/Kings (2/1/13)

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DeMarcus Cousins may be an athletic marvel, but his post defense has the Sixers licking their chops.

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After three straight efficient offensive games, the Philadelphia 76ers subpar offense showed up again against the Wizards. At the root of their reversion to being a pitiful on that end of the floor? A return to inefficiency on two-point jump shots. Against Washington, the Sixers took 41 shots from 10-23 feet, making only 34.1 percent of them. Granted, they were terrible from everywhere, even shooting an uncharacteristically low percentage at the rim.

Here are their numbers from that range in the two preceding games: 39.5 percent on 43 shots against Memphis, 45.8 percent on only 24 shots against New York. Those rates aren’t sustainable for a team that plays few knockdown shooters, and were due to plummet. Luckily, the regression came against another team that couldn’t hit water from a boat. Taking a number of attempts from mid-range closer to what they did in the Knicks game would help increase the Sixers’ efficiency going forward.

Boogie on Down

The Sixers will try to pick their shooting back up against the league’s worst defensive team, the Sacramento Kings. DeMarcus Cousins, while a talented offensive player with a bevy of physical tools, is one of the main reasons for Sacramento’s porous defense.

Cousins is often out of position and has a tendency to look uninterested on D. He has a below average 106 defensive rating and blocks just 1.5 percent of two point shots while he’s on the floor, low for a man his size playing so close to the rim. As a result, Kings’ opponents shoot 67.2 percent at the rim. Jrue Holiday and Thad Young are probably licking their chops reading that.

Boogie could provide just as many headaches for the Sixers’ defense as he gives his coach, Keith Smart, on his own defensive end. With no veritable rim defenders, the Sixers could struggle to contain Cousins if he goes down low. He’s unlikely to do so consistently, though. About a third of DMC’s shots come on long twos, and he shoots just 28 percent on them. The Sixers will have to hope that he stays true to form, as they’re nearly as bad as the Kings at defending the rim.

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