Six Reasons to be Excited about the 2015-16 Season

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Alex Kirk (53) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. The Knicks won the game in overtime, 84-81. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports” width=”300″ height=”224″ /> Jul 14, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) shoots over the top of New York Knicks forward Alex Kirk (53) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. The Knicks won the game in overtime, 84-81. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jah and an actual purpose on offense

The Sixers were tied for sixth in the league in pace last season, totaling 98.3 possessions per game. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Sixers want to get up and down the floor and play fast. You always hear that the Sixers want their offense centered around ‘pace and space’, which is the Spurs-ian way of playing basketball and it is the style of offense that the entire league is moving towards. Pace doesn’t just refer to being a fast break team, but also having a lot of ball movement on offense.In this past draft, the Sixers selected a player that would not seem to fit the style of basketball they want to play in Jahlil Okafor.

Okafor is not a rim-t0-rim big, unlike Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid (I promise that’s the last time I will mention his name) and he makes his living on the low block. His niche as a player is a guy that you give the ball to once you cross half court and allow him to create offense. The Sixers will still be able to play in transition, but their offense may not have as much ball movement.But let’s remember two things here: the Sixers are not married to Jahlil Okafor and the Sixers are not trying to contend this season. There is no telling if Jahlil Okafor is going to be able to be a star in a league that is moving away from posting up. Just as if there is no telling whether Okafor can adapt his game, such as becoming more mobile and adding a mid-range jumper, to fit the Sixers style of play. All that is known is that the Sixers have a lot of time to work with Jah and attempt to mold him into a player that would fit here.

For this upcoming season I am not worried about his fit at all really. Instead, I am more focused on how much he will aid and improve the Sixers offense. The Sixers ranked dead last in offensive efficiency(93.0) and field goal percentage(40.8), as well as finishing 29th in three-point percentage(32.0). Yes, the Sixers were atrocious on offense last season. Last season the Sixers added a number of players that could shoot from deep, something they did not have in the previous season, but they lacked a playmaker that could draw two defenders and create open shots for other players.

Enter Jahlil Okafor. As showcased in summer league Okafor has an arsenal of go-to moves on the low block. Jah still has a lot of kinks to iron out in his game, but he already has a couple of skills that should translate easily to the NBA. He has a soft touch around the rim and he is an excellent passer out of the post. Think of this situation for a second: Okafor with the ball on the block while Pierre Jackson, Nik Stuaskas, and Robert Covington are scattered along the three-point arc and Nerlens Noel diving to the rim. That is an actual, NBA lineup that could generate offense due to Okafor’s prowess in the post and shooting ability around him.

This is one was easy. The Sixers prized toy from this past draft is the number one thing that Sixer fans will have their eyes on this season.

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