The Sixers rarely run isolation plays, which is exactly the way they like it. According to Elton Brand, the more different players get to handle the ball, the better the team’s defenseis…
"When you iso a lot you don't have that shared responsibility on defense. It's kind of human nature –if you work hard to get a guy a layup, he'll want to return the favor and play harder on defense," Brand explained.
Brand, a two-time All-Star, was the focal point of the offense when he played for the Clippers and averaged upto 18 shots per game one season. Often, the offense filtered through him on the post, which Brand says didn't look like too much fun for his teammates. Truthbe told, he prefers the Sixers' style of offense.
This season the Sixers had seven different players lead the team in scoring in the first 10 games.
"There is less standing around, you feel a part of the team, you feel the movement, you feelgood," Brand said. "If one guy is shooting all the shots, unless it's ingrained in the team's role, I think defensively it hurts."
Another reason why isolation playsmay have fallen out of favor around the league is because the defenses and scouting has improved. In fact, during last week’s game against Washington, Evan Turner said the Sixers were so familiar with the other team's plays thatthey tried to beat their man to the spot when the play was called.
"Defenses have become somuch more sophisticated. We think we're at our best if the ball moves side toside because if the ball gets stuck on one side of the floor these NBA teamsjust load up," coach Doug Collins said. "Unless you're something spectacular, you're going to take a contested jump shot or you're going to be playing one on two or even one on three if they go boxes-and-elbows orsomething like that."
Of course another reason for teams struggling with isolation plays could be the lockout. Brand wondered if some go-to players were slow to get their legs going with so maybe back-to-backs and quick turnarounds.
If one thing is for sure, says Collins, the defense around the league has been solid.
"I don't know if the lockout had any effect on guys and conditioning. I know the defenses this year have been pretty consistent," Collins said. "I think every night we play teams and the defenses are ahead of the offenses in a lot of ways and that might be because we can't practice."