For a young roster in dire need of direction, Philadelphia 76ers’ point guard Sergio Rodriguez has revitalized a spot that was ineffective for this team.
For the past four seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers have lacked a real facilitator. The point guard position has been a revolving door for the majority of that time frame. Now, with Sergio Rodriguez at the helm, there is a real floor general working the ball around for this young talent core of the Sixers.
Back in the 2013 offseason, the Sixers were looking to go in an entirely different direction. This was the start of the current rebuild the team is experiencing. This meant that is was time to move some of the team’s key pieces, such as former Sixers and current Pelicans’ point guard Jrue Holiday.
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During this era of the team’s existence, the Sixers haven’t found the answer at the point guard position. We all thought this problem was fixed back in 2013 with the radical rookie year of Michael Carter-Williams. However, this proved to be a flash-in-a-pan and eventually led to his send-off via trade at the trade deadline.
Since then, there have been six starting point guards for the Philadelphia 76ers. This was a period of experimentation for the team where there was a need to find answer at arguably the most important position in basketball.
Guys like Tim Frazier and Tony Wroten were given the starting nod because there was no clear cut starter at the time. It was a period of uncertainty for the team.
That all changed when T.J. McConnell made the team back during the 2015 Summer League. McConnell proved that he could hang with the big boys and has remained a vital piece to the Sixers’ puzzle. Even bringing back Ish Smith helped appease guys like Nerlens Noel who wanted an actual facilitator running the show. This was only temporary, however, as defenses soon figured out Ish’s game and things went back to the way they were.
During the summer of 2016, the Sixers finally addressed the point guard situation, signing Real Madrid’s Sergio Rodriguez to a one-year deal. This brought a true veteran presence to a team in need of it. Sergio was supposed to bring a genuine knack for moving the ball around, perimeter shooting, and an overall crafty brand of basketball.
So far, Spanish Chocolate has delivered on these promises. He’s getting the ball to guys at a phenomenal rate, averaging 7.3 assists per game. That puts him in the top 10 in the league in that category. Oddly enough, he is ahead of guys like Rajon Rondo, Mike Conley and Dennis Schroder in that category. Sergio is doing his job.
The one aspect of his game that hasn’t been up to par, on paper, has been his 3-point shooting. In game, Chacho hits threes that most guys would’t hit in the park. It feels like he’s hitting shots at a Nik Stauskas-esque rate. However, the stats say that he makes 1.1 out of every 4.2 threes he takes per game. That rounds out to 25.9 percent from three. That puts him at 118th in the NBA overall. That’s not great, but at least he hits one shot per game.
One other area of the game that Sergio may have helped the Sixers is the team’s confidence. Identity is important for a young team to thrive. As a unit, you have to understand how your team succeeds. What style of play helps your team the most? Rodriguez has given the team a glimpse into his flashy delivery. You can find Sergio dishing dimes and creating Vines. With that added ability to move the ball came a newfound swagger.
Although he is not the only player on the team with swag, Sergio Rodriguez has facilitated it. With guys like Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric on the roster, you need to make sure they are involved. Wish his ability to pass, Sergio has done just that. Naturally, when JoJo and Jah get the ball, 90 percent of the time good things happen. Chacho understands this a makes sure that it becomes a reality.
So yes, Sergio has helped the Sixers in a myriad a ways. He provides the team a traditional point guard’s approach to running an offense. He spreads the ball around with his passing and his shooting. His veteran leadership on the court helps the team function smoothly. Even on a year-to-year basis, this sort of leadership will allow a team like the Sixers to develop and flourish. He’s been just what the doctor ordered.