The Sixers have potential.
Sure, that's a phrase thrown around a lot by optimistic fans (if you can find any) and by marketing departments, each hoping to hype the future of their squad.
But it is actually true in South Philly.
Despite having the worst record in the NBA (by only 1.5 games thanks to the equally horrid Lakers) and trailing the pack in most statistical categories, simply watching the Sixers on the hardwood each night offers glimmers of hope.
In a Tuesday night win against the Suns, the 76ers succeeded by acting decisively early in the shot clock. And as a result, they were able to avoid over-thinking and act spontaneously.
"One of the things we talked a lot about is to get our offensive flow by being decisive," Sixers' head coach Brett Brown said Tuesday night. "Whatever decision you are going to make with the first big, you have an advantage -- you can run to the block, you can screen the ball. And you can't become half pregnant. You are in the game."
It is clear that Philly runs its offense through its big man, whether it be Nerlens Noel, or Jahlil Okafor, who is currently battling the flu. Pair the ability to set screens and swing the ball to shooters like Robert Covington with point guard Ish Smith, who is also a catalyst as a shooter and distributor, and you have makings of a potentially potent offense.
As long as the squad makes choices before the defense can catch up.
"Make a decision," Brown continued. "It's all good. Be strong and wrong."
Smith has particularly been an important decision maker. You can tell when he is on the floor, the team is more confident.
"You get the most creative guy on the team the ball, you spread out around him and you make unselfish plays," Brown said, citing Smith's role as a facilitator in a 113-103 victory over the Suns. "We gave the ball to Ish and we were spaced fairly well, we got different people the ball and we were rewarded for that. The decisions Ish made were excellent."
After completing their back-to-back Wednesday night in Detroit, the Sixers have a few days off to prepare for the arrival of the NBA champion Warriors to the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m.
Don't expect to get into this game for cheap -- it's already sold out.
Both Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel will participate in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend in Toronto.
“On behalf of the entire Sixers organization, we are proud that Nerlens and Jahlil were recognized for their talent, hard work and commitment to their craft. This is a recognition both for them and their families, who have sacrificed and supported Nerlens and Jahlil during every step of their basketball journeys,” SixersGM Sam Hinkie said.