The Philadelphia 76ers find a winning formula in Indiana

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

After living or dying by Joel Embiid over the first 12 games of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers finally found offensive parody against the Indiana Pacers.

It happened, it finally happened.

After dropping an embarrassing stinker to the Brooklyn Nets in the second game of a back-to-back, the Philadelphia 76ers bounced back after a three-day hiatus and put together one of their most complete wins of the season against a team that they very well could end up seeing again in the playoffs.

But really, the Sixers victory over Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the formula they used to do so is incredibly tried and true: share the rock.

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The first 12 games of the 2018-2019 NBA season has been a tale of two teams for the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the (seven) games where they’ve had six or more players score in double digits, the Sixers have a 5-1 record, including solid wins over the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers and now the Indiana Pacers.

And in the games where five or fewer players score in double digits? Brett Brown‘s team is looking at a 2-4 record including losses to the Detroit Pistons, the Boston Celtics, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Toronto Raptors.

Those are all (potential) playoff teams that the Sixers are going to have to beat to return to the postseason, and may even have to face over a seven-game series should they do so.

Sure, ‘score more points’ is hardly a revolutionary concept, as literally the only way for an NBA team to win a game is to outscore their opponent, but establishing parody across a rotation makes the team all the more challenging to guard because it opens up the floor considerably.

With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons doing the lion’s share of their damage in the paint, teams like the Hawks have recently opted to crowd the paint in the hopes of clogging the driving lanes to the basket, forcing the 76ers shooters to beat them on the wings.

When said players are knocking down shots, and scoring in double digits, that’s a strategy that would have to be abandoned swiftly, but when players like Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and even Robert Covington aren’t knocking down their shots from the outside, a 48-minute contest can feel like an eternity.

Now granted, was the 76ers improved shooting prowess the only reason the team pulled out a win over the Pacers? No, as they only turned the ball over 16 times (still bad), while stealing eight balls and blocking eight blocks throughout the game, but in a tight victory decided by only six points, every possession matters.

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While it’s still not ideal that the team shot less than 32 percent from 3-point range, a trend that has plagued the team all season, by sharing the ball and giving everyone a chance to score, the Philadelphia 76ers found a way to win a must-win game. If the team is smart, they will attempt to emulate this trend over the forthcoming months.