The (offensively) Little Prince

Let's face it. The Philadelphia 76ers offense is horrible. The team has an offensive rating (ORtg) of 93.7. That means they produce 93.7 points per 100 possessions. That's 2.84 z-scores below the average this year.

For historical context, last year's Sixers finished the season at 99.4 (which was in last place), and there would be only 2 teams since 1980 3-pt era that have ever been offensively worse than this year's current Sixers--2003 DEN(92.2) and 1999 CHI(92.4). (Yeah, it's more useful to calculate z-scores for these too, but that's not the point of this analysis.)

And then I read a few comments on a Liberty Ballers game thread praising the delightful surprise of "The Prince" Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (LRMAM) on offense. This is LRMAM, the guy who is basically a zero contributor on offense his entire career. Except, the crazy thing was... I thought I was seeing the offensive flash from him too!! He was knocking down 3s!! If I was being wowed by LRMAM, maybe (or most likely) it was from watching too many Sixers games.

Regardless, I needed to know what was going on, so I looked at his TS% and assist:turnover ratio through this season to summarize his offensive impact. I used moving windows to calculate averages and track his progress through the season.


Using a more traditional window size of 30 days, it was easy to see there is some slight upward trend in LRMAM's scoring efficiency. However, I prefer to use a 66-day window. Why? Because I read that's how long on average it takes to build a habit. Even though players should not be completely retooling, 66 days is essentially the timeframe I want to keep "in memory" to see how they adjust to longterm coaching and training.

It's visually evident in this larger window that LRMAM's scoring efficiency is trending up. It's not the smoothest transition, though it's still pleasant to see he's improving.


Assist:Turnover Ratio

However, his assist:turnover ratio tells a different story. This time there is no sign of improvement here. Though this could also be indicative of the finishing ability of those around him.


Looking at these two aspects of LRMAM's offensive game, there does seem to be some progress. Sadly, that progression has gotten him to only about league average efficiency. Then again, it's also somewhat sad that Sixers fans are able to notice this minute difference.

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