The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are the D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets.
The Vipers have a very unique approach to their offense. The Vipers shoot three-pointers and layups, while mainly trying to avoid shooting long twos.
The Vipers average 123.6 points per game on 96.5 shot attempts. Of those 96.5 shots, 44.5 of them come from beyond the three-point arc with the Vipers connecting 36.5 percent of the time.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown believes the trend of threes and shots in the paint with minimal long twos will keep gaining steam on all levels.
“When you try to look at elite NBA long two shooters like David West, Luis Scola, LaMarcus Aldridge, they are elite,” Brown said. “But when you strip it down to percentages, percentages say you better be elite or it’s not a good shot. It sounds good in a math room.
“I do support it and there is no doubt that the analytics say so. But it comes with many, many other layers that just don’t make it a black and white blanket statement.”
The Sixers have one part of the formula already down. They are third in the NBA with 50.2 points in the paint per game.
However, the Sixers couldn’t be worse in the other aspect of the equation. The Sixers attempt 22.1 three-pointers per game, resulting in a league-worst 30.7 percent.
Brown is hoping to develop outside shooters. Hollis Thompson and James Anderson are probably the Sixers’ top long-distance options, shooting 34.2 and 32.0 percent from three-point range, respectively.
But when you consider there are 28 NBA players who shoot 40 percent or higher from deep, you get a sense of just how far the Sixers have to go.
With the season winding down, the Sixers are trying to see how better shooters can possibly fit into their frenetic pace.
The Sixers recently signed Darius Johnson-Odom and James Nunnally to 10-day contracts. Both players shot the three well this season in the D-League. Johnson-Odom made 35.6 percent of his shots from three-point range with the Springfield Armor, while Nunnally made 41.3 percent with two different D-League clubs.