Philadelphia 76ers: Sergio Rodriguez Video Breakdown

Jan 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of a sell out crowd at Wells Fargo Center for a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Golden State Warriors. The Golden State Warriors won 108-105. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of a sell out crowd at Wells Fargo Center for a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Golden State Warriors. The Golden State Warriors won 108-105. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia 76ers made news Monday by signing elite Spanish guard Sergio Rodriguez to a 1-year, $8 million contract. Film shows that he may be a bigger impact than expected for Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia 76ers made their second major signing this free agency period by signing point guard Sergio Rodriguez, who played the last 6 seasons for Real Madrid. The signing gives the team yet another point guard at their disposal, and maybe even an x-factor for this season.

Before we get into some video breakdown, it’s important to look back at the 30-year old’s long career. Rodriguez started his professional basketball career in 2004 at just age 18, spending two seasons with Estudiantes of the powerhouse Liga ACB. Rodriguez got major minutes at a young age, averaging close to 20 minutes per game.

Rodriguez averaged over 8 points per game with Estudiantes, but his passing was a question mark  leading up to the 2006 NBA Draft. Despite the questions, Sergio Rodriguez was drafted 27th overall by the Phoenix Suns, who then traded him to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for cash considerations.

The then 20-year old made his NBA debut that season, stepping in as a productive role player. In his rookie season, Rodriguez’s per 36 minute stat-line almost averaged up to a double-double (10.3 ppg-9.1 apg). Rodriguez especially excelled with fellow Spaniard Rudy Fernandez, who would be his eventual teammate for Real Madrid. What should be also noted is that Rodriguez played a season alongside Jerryd Bayless, as the two will be reunited once again this season for the Philadelphia 76ers. 

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After failing to find a place in the NBA after just 4 seasons, Rodriguez went back home to Spain to play for one of the top clubs in Europe, Real Madrid. The start for Rodriguez and Real Madrid wasn’t a smooth one, as Rodriguez tallied some underwhelming averages over his first four seasons and playing under 20 minutes per game.

Rodriguez is the perfect example of a late bloomer. Basketball and the Spaniard found each other in stride when Rodriguez hit age 28. Rodriguez’s scoring averages increased tremendously as the outside shot became his revelation to success, averaging over 40% from 3-point range in his last 4 seasons with Real Madrid. Not that he was a bad shooter before hand, but he did become a more reliable one. Not only did his scoring output improve, Rodriguez reformed his game to make himself a more complete guard by improving his court vision and in turn, his assist numbers.

10 years after his NBA Debut, Rodriguez will make his return to the league with the Philadelphia 76ers, but how will he succeed with the young rebuilding team?

Just by looking at his situation with Real Madrid, all the signals point to a nice relationship with Rodriguez and the Philadelphia 76ers. Much like Real Madrid’s fast-paced offense, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown emphasizes a transition focused attack centered around quick ball movement and active off-ball necessities.

Barring any late major acquisitions, Rodriguez could be in contention to battle for the starting point guard spot and the floor general for the Philadelphia 76ers. Some video breakdown will prove that he might be a surprising but effective candidate for the job.


Sergio Rodriguez is a highly active player, most of the time. When he gives effort off-the ball, good things tend to happen. The Philadelphia 76ers have a point forward in Ben Simmons, so the surrounding players must be able to perform without the ball. In the below clip, what led to this  play (which was not shown) was Rodriguez running around the perimeter.

After receiving the ball, Rodriguez looks towards the left side of the court then brilliantly makes a no-look pass for a wide open 3-point attempt.

With the ball, Rodriguez has shown on multiple occasions his ability to finish at the rim with defenders in his way. He almost exclusively finishes on the right-handed side of the basket.

The driving ability opens up the offense around him, which what most likely attracted the Philadelphia 76ers the most to the quick veteran. In the clip below we see Rodriguez get past his defender the quickly throw a dart pass for a wide open three.

Rodriguez does tend to dribble the ball an excess amount of time, often leading to turnovers along the perimeter. Here Rodriguez dribbles unnecessarily, allowing the opposition to poke the ball loose. This often kills and stagnates the usually quick Real Madrid offense.

It’s clear Rodriguez is more effective in transition, and often looks to start the break quickly. This factor will play perfect in the Philadelphia 76ers offensive scheme. The second unit of Dario Saric and potentially Nerlens Noel will fit nicely with the quick-paced Sergio Rodriguez. Here, Rodriguez draws a foul after quickly making his way up-court.

In this clip, Rodriguez makes a quick pass in transition that leads to the easy bucket for Andres Nocioni.

Offensively, Rodriguez fits the Brett Brown mold, which the Philadelphia 76ers are starting conform to more than they have in the past. Transition offense with some decent outside shooting makes Rodriguez a nice addition to this Philadelphia 76ers offense who are look to find more fluidity.


Pesky, pesky, pesky. Sergio Rodriguez is a great perimeter defender who often frustrates the opposition with aggressive full-court and half-court defense. This may work to the Philadelphia 76ers’ advantage, as they struggled terribly with perimeter defense. Rodriguez most likely won’t rack up huge steals numbers in the NBA but he can wear out opposing guards, exemplified in the two clips below, the first in where he caused a turnover.

Other than that, Rodriguez is a liability on switches and guarding anyone inside the perimeter. In this clip, he gives seemingly just gives up on helping out on a switch.

When playing on the ball closer to the basket, Rodriguez tends to foul or get beat on moves towards the baseline. Here he is guarding a bigger offensive player and commits a bad reach-in foul.

The increased versatility of the Philadelphia 76ers defense will hopefully mask these struggles.

Overall, Sergio Rodriguez should fit in well with Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers. The similar playing styles between Real Madrid and Philadelphia should allow for a somewhat smooth transition. Rodriguez could become the team’s stop-gap guard, splitting time with former teammate Bayless, and is yet another seemingly great move from the new regime to help build around potential star Ben Simmons.

Rodriguez won’t be some late revival star, but he will allow the team to play a fast-paced offense while providing some marginal defensive assistance. Rodriguez seemingly slides into any Philadelphia 76ers unit the team places him in, which made the signing that much easier.

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The Philadelphia 76ers made a one-year bet on Rodriguez, and now it’s up to the former star Euroleague guard to prove he is still NBA worthy nearly a decade after his league debut. The relationship could move past this season, but for now the Philadelphia 76ers have made a smart and calculated risk.