The 76ers shooting woes from last year seemed to carry over last night against the Boston Celtics. In their second straight preseason matchup against the Celtics, the 76ers managed to shoot only 7 of 25 from deep, or 28%. The league 3-point average last season was nearly 36%. The 76ers shot 34% from deep, placing them a meekly 25th in the league. The addition of J.J. Redick, sharpshooter extraordinaire, is sure to help that percentage, but one man alone cannot cover for the other players lack of shooting.
Dario Saric returned last night against the Celtics and finished shooting 1 of 5 from beyond the arc. Saric, who shot 31% from deep last season, struggled with his jumper. It could’ve been due to fatigue since Saric played all summer overseas for the Croatian team. Bayless, an aging veteran who is typically known to shoot well from deep, ended up shooting 1 of 4 from 3-point range.
Nik Stauskas, perhaps one of the biggest letdowns of the preseason so far, shot an abysmal 1 of 8 from the field and 0 of 2 from 3-point range. Stauskas, who was the 8th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is a career 34% shooter from deep. He has been quite disappointing to say the least. He was dubbed “Klay Thompson 2.0” coming out of the draft, yet he has failed to hit the league 3 point average all three seasons as a pro baller.
Justin Anderson contributed to the sad shooting in last night’s display as he shot just 1 of 4 from behind the 3-point line. This isn’t that much of a surprise since Anderson is a career 29% 3 point shooter and is known more for being a scrappy player.
What’s even more concerning was the team’s free throw percentage. They shot just 15 of 29 from the free throw line, or 51.7%. This is far below the league average of 77%. Ben Simmons shot 3 of 10 from the line. His free throw form and mechanics certainly don’t help his percentage. Talking about shooting form, did anyone watch Markelle Fultz (2 of 5 from the line) shoot his free throws?
Markelle Fultz changed his free throw shooting form and this is how it looks… pic.twitter.com/OO8fJLsZuD
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 10, 2017
You can chuck it up to a bad shooting night for the team or a troubling sign that should warrant some serious concern. No matter how you look at it, the Sixers must improve their shooting if they want to be a successful team in today’s league.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports