In the crowd of big men Mr. Consistent, Jahlil Okafor, continues to stand tall. The headlines often ignore him and opposing teams are successful in partaking in his defensive “abilities”, but let the record show Okafor has grown tremendously since last season.
And it is evident with each and every contest.
In a win against the Detroit Pistons the 76ers were a striking +21 with him on the floor (a team high which he shared with Ersan Ilyasova). The big man scored the first two points of the game and the final point of the game as Philly would win its sixth game of the season 97 – 79.
Another consistent mark of his efficiency is the positive effect he has on his teammates offensively. The old adage of making your teammates better has been in full effect during his basketball career, going back Okafor’s days at Whitney Young in Chicago.
This time point guard T.J. McConnell was the benefiter of Mr. Consistent’s paint presence. McConnell, who got the start because of an ill Sergio Rodriquez, came one rebound shy of a triple-double (12 points, 10 rebounds & nine assists). Considering the guard never even registered a double-double in the 104 games prior, the feat was quite impressive.
The 76ers seem dedicated to finding ways to incorporate Embiid into the lineup, this dedication should not come at the expense of the more accomplished player in Okafor.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Under a Buck
Philadelphia has won a grand total of six games this season, in three of those wins the opponent failed to score 100 points. To be clear the Sixers have held four opponents to under 100 points, obviously winning three of those contests. The fourth contest
Philly would lose by only five points.
In such a small sample size one thing is clear, if the other guys do not score they will not win. Forget monitored minutes and out of position play for a moment and consider just how simple of a statistic this is.
It is imperative going forward through this process that the 76ers find competency on both ends of the court. If not the process will be destined for failure.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
Nothing Sweet in Chocolate City
Philadelphia had a reasonably light week before the Christmas holiday. Led by Moses Malone’s 23 points and 20 rebounds the Sixers sustained a hard fought win against the Cleveland Cavaliers (99 – 93).
Two nights later they would hand an L to Bernard King and the New York Knicks (109 – 95), then a hiccup in Chocolate City.
The Bullets were flying high winning nine of their last 12 and were poised for the challenge. Philadelphia’s brief three game winning streak was interrupted by Washington, and more specifically their physical frontline of Spencer Haywood and future 76ers Rick Mahorn and Jeff Ruland. The Sixers’ Malone would have his lowest rebound output (albeit 14) of the week and as a team Philly was outrebound 53 to 46.
The 97 – 100 loss was the fifth of the season, but would serve as a precursor to a franchise record win streak.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: