Despite lowly season, 76ers among NBA’s best in the paint (usually)

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​Look at the stats, and the 8-53 Sixers, the worst team in the NBA, falls toward the bottom in most categories.

They can’t score, they can’t defend and don’t rebound particularly well either.

But with Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and streaking Ish Smith on the roster, the team knows how to score in the paint.

Dead last in points per game with a hair over 96 per game, the 76ers (prior to a 119-99 loss to the Hornets Wednesday) ranked fourth in all of basketball in the paint, with 45.5 per game.

Against the Hornets, with Okafor sidelined the stout Charlotte defense held the 76ers to 28points in the paint (most of them from Robert Covington, who had a solid 17 points and 9 rebounds).

“What I noticed tonight is they are very good at packing in the paint,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said after the loss.”In the first half I think we shot 21 threes.I felt like we tried to finish in areas we couldn’t, or shouldn’t too much tonight. Also look at their blocked shots, they played in the crowd a lot.”

Though they are lowly, and dreary, Philly operates best when it can penetrate.

With just 21 games remaining until the NBA draft chatter officially begins, the Sixers will need to continue to refine their prowess near the basket.

“We are a young team and we play our heart out each and every night,” Covington said.”We have to continue to fight, you never know what can happen. We have to take it day by day and get better.”

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