Philadelphia 76ers Stat Monkey Brief: Sixers/Knicks (2/24/13)
Doug Collins' minutes distribution has been a bit iffy all season. With three key players, Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson and Thaddeus Young, currently sidelined, there should be plenty of minutes to go around.Despite that, guys like Jeremy Pargo and Dorrell Wright have seen their court time jerked around. Since joining the team, Pargo has seen his minutes decrease from over 29 in his debut to just under nine minutes against Milwaukee, then back up to 22 minutes against the Heat. With the inconsistent minutes, his performance has varied widely, with offensive ratings as high as 150 (granted, on just three shots) against Minnesota and bottoming at 47 against Milwaukee.
Wright has been going through minutes upheaval all season. In the Sixers' last five games, he's averaging close to 18 minutes per game, but has gotten between 6:30 and 30 minutes of floor time in that span. While Collins' has concerns about Wright's sustained defensive effort, he’s shown that he plays better in extended time. Wright has a 52.4 effective field goal percentage in games in which he plays between 20 and 30 minutes, while dropping down to a 40.8 eFG% when he plays under 20 minutes. Against Miami, one of his former teams, Wright played 31 minutes and registered a 65.4 eFG%.
The Knicks Lynchpin
While much has been made of how the Knicks would integrate Amar'e Stoudemire back into the lineup, there's another player who has missed some time that's more vital to New York's success: Raymond Felton. He is a part of each of the Knicks' five best five-man units, and is also a member of their top three- and four-man groups.
With Felton off the floor, the Knicks' efficiency drops by 6.7 points per 100 possessions. While their assist rate actually rises with him on the bench, Felton's ability to penetrate and create space for others relative to his backcourt partner, Jason Kidd, is key to their offense. The Knicks' offense is predicated on getting and making looks from three - they're second in the league in both makes and attempts from long range - and Felton is assisting on three three-pointers per game. The Sixers will have to stay home on New York's shooters when Felton penetrates if they want to slow down the Knicks' offense.