The offensive numbers from the Sixers’ Game 1 loss to the Boston Celtics were pretty ugly.
They shot 42.2 percent from the field, 19.2 percent from three-point range and 74.3 percent at the free throw line.
However, the Sixers believe they got everything they wanted in the series opener.
“Offensively, I thought, by and large, we did most of the things we wanted to do broadly speaking,” Sixers vice president of analytics and strategy Alex Rucker said in the latest Zoo’s Views podcast. “Our initial primary break in transition was really effective. We struggled with a few things in the half court, but honestly we missed shots. We weren’t able to hit shots that we’ve generally been able to make.”
So does that mean we can expect a different performance — particularly from three-point range — in Game 2? The averages would suggest a turnaround.
“On uncontested threes we shot 38 percent, which is pretty close to our season-long average. The real thing that stood out was we were 1 of 12 on contested threes,” Rucker said. “When they were able to get a hand up, we were 1 of 12 — eight percent — and we’re actually one of the top-five teams in the NBA at hitting contested threes. Those are looks we want. We just didn’t hit them.
“The guys we have that take those shots — Robert (Covington), JJ (Redick), Marco (Belinelli) — are some of the best guys in the league at hitting shots with a defender close by and we just didn’t hit those looks. It happens. You shake their hand and move on and don’t think it will happen again.”
To hear more from Rucker along with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid’s thoughts on what they expect in Game 2, listen to the full podcast below.