The old saying goes: defense wins championships. The Sixers are hoping that rings true this season.
Much of the success the team has enjoyed this season is based on its defense. The Sixers rank second in the NBA in defensive rating (107.0), second in steals per game (8.9), and first in blocks per game (6.3).
But one player believes the team can be even better, at least in one aspect.
On the latest edition of the Inside the Green Room podcast, Danny Green was asked by co-host Harrison Sanford if there was anything Green believes the team could improve upon this season.
Not an easy question, thinking about the team leading the Eastern Conference.
“I think defensively, the biggest thing we’ve been trying to work on and get better at and change is our transition defense,” Green answered. “I think we’re top-five in defense, and then bottom-five in transition. If we change that, we could be No. 1 and that would make us a way better team.
“That starts with communication and just getting back. We have to be more disciplined and communicate better, but if we change our transition defense, we could be a lot better team.”
By the numbers, the Sixers are only better than the lowly Houston Rockets in fast-break points allowed per game (15.1). That could be a result of how aggressively the team rebounds defensively. They rank seventh in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage at 74.7 percent. Green seems to think it all comes down to communication on the court.
“When you have a young team, with guys that don’t know how to really communicate as well, and you cross-match, guys think they need to find their man instead of finding a man, and you have a lot of breakdowns. We’ve gotten better with it, but we could do a lot better.”
A measurably better Sixers defense. That’s a frightening thought for the rest of the NBA as we make our way toward what should be a deep Sixers postseason run.