Numbers tell story of Sixers' woes through first half of season

Posted: January 24, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Halfway numbers: As Monday marked the halfway point of the season, let's take a look at some of the numbers the Sixers accumulated during their first 41 games.

* The Sixers were 15-0 when leading at the end of the first quarter this season. They were 2-24 when tied or trailing going into the fourth quarter. Both wins came against the Toronto Raptors.

* The team was 9-3 when scoring 100 or more points and 3-17 when scoring below 90.

* The Sixers had made 18 more shots than their opponents, but were outscored by 170 points. Opponents had made 23 more three-pointers and an astounding 183 more free throws.

* Five times, the Sixers had given up 110 or more points in a game. That happened only three times all of last season.

* The Sixers were 0-8 when allowing opponents to shoot 50 percent or better. That raises the streak to 22-straight losses dating back to last season.

* Opponents had made 10-plus three-pointers 11 times this season. That happened only five times last season.

* The Sixers allowed on average only 38 points in the paint the first half of this season, good for sixth-fewest in the NBA.

* In the first quarter of games, the Sixers averaged 22.8 points on 42.4 percent shooting, while opponents went for 26.1 points on 49.4 percent. For the rest of the games combined, the Sixers averaged 70.2 points and 44.9 percent, while opponents went for 71.2 points and 43.9 percent.

So what does it all add up to? A halfway record of 17-24, of course. The most glaring numbers are the disparity at the foul line and the first-quarter differential. If you look at it, they are kind of related.

Most players like to begin their games by getting some kind of an easy basket to get them into the flow of the contest. The Sixers, though, can't/won't take the ball to the basket all that often, so they start their games with mostly jump shots. That's a tough way to begin games, and the numbers show it. When games are close toward the end, the foul-shooting deficit proves fatal, as when teams need baskets, they get to the rim. The Sixers, once again, have to rely on outside shooting.

Glamorous life?

After Monday's 90-85 loss to the visiting San Antonio Spurs, the Sixers boarded their charter flight and headed to Milwaukee. Arriving around 1 a.m., the traveling party was greeted with a temperature of 2 degrees, with a wind chill of close to 10 below. It was not a fun time for members of the party who unload all the baggage, which includes video equipment, training supplies, uniforms, sneakers, practice gear and personal luggage.

"Man, that was one of the coldest ever," said Scotty Rego, the team's equipment manager since 1999. "The only other time I remember it being worse was one time in Utah, when it was snowing and sleeting, and it was coming down sideways. Larry Brown was the coach then, though I'm not sure of the year. We sent the team ahead on the bus, and we loaded everything into vans back then. But [early Tuesday] was one of the worst."

Longtime friends

After the San Antonio Spurs finished their shootaround on Monday morning at the Wells Fargo Center, head coach Gregg Popovich made a beeline to the side of the court to greet a longtime friend, Temple head coach Fran Dunphy.

"We go back to 1971 at the Pan Am trials in Colorado Springs," said Dunphy, who years ago contemplated joining Popovich's staff. "He was in the Air Force and I was in the Army. Neither one of us made the squad, but it was fun. I didn't know him all that well, but about once a year we'd talk, and we formed a friendship, and the respect was always there. He's a tremendous, absolutely tremendous coach."

After the two caught up for a minute, a marker appeared and the two went over some X's and O's on a small court board.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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