Morey’s emphasis on analytics is paying early dividends for the Sixers

NBA: MAR 10 Nets at Lakers
March 10, 2020, Los Angeles, California, U.S: Los Angeles Lakers Danny Green (14) shoots during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

It’s also important to note how evolutionary Morey’s introduction of analytics to the NBA atmosphere. Basic statistical methods and assessments have been around for some time now, but advanced analytics is a much more recent, evolving arena. Baseball was actually the first U.S sport to integrate and adapt to the findings of analytics.

The Oakland A’s and their infamous ‘Moneyball’ technique of building playoff contenders was largely based on analytics and began to spread rapidly. Teams began infusing the findings and analytic minds behind them into their franchises more and more as they looked to maximize their talent. Now, most of, if not all MLB teams have a major analytics department on staff, both for assistance with roster construction and in-game decisions.

Some of these ideologies and concepts have begun making their way to professional basketball and the MIT Sloan graduate Morey is a huge reason why.

Eager to find any edge or advantage he can, Morey didn’t hesitate to expand and react to his analytical findings and hasn’t hesitated to use them to better the Sixers either.

Less than a month on the job and Morey has already made the Sixers significantly better. And, even more impressive, he managed to do so without giving up the farm to land another star.

Morey knows that there is value in marginal, hidden advantages. He realizes that in order to win a championship, everybody on the roster is going to require a skill or two that fits seamlessly into the system.

That’s why he added Danny Green, Seth Curry, and Dwight Howard in quick succession. Curry and Green obviously fit the sharpshooting theme Morey is after and who better than the towering Howard, who carries the sixth-highest field goal percentage in NBA history, to take a few close shots at the rim while Embiid is taking a breather. Howard’s ability to snag the offensive board and give the offense second chances shouldn’t be overlooked either. ​His 4.7 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes ranked third among all players over 1,000 minutes.

Far too often under Brett Brown, the offense would get stale and stall out. Morey has done a masterful job of ensuring that roster construction won’t be a reason that happens this time around.

The players will still have to show up and earn their paycheck, obviously, as the numbers alone will not produce a championship. Still, Sixers fans and players alike should still be ecstatic about the direction Morey now has the franchise headed in.

After struggling to establish any real offensive identity in the last few years, the Sixers now look to dispense a multi-faceted attack with Morey at the helm.

Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

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