What really tells us how the Sixers are doing are statistics.
Statistics, in all sports, are not debatable points. They are the cold hard facts that tell you how it is. In fact, they are the only tangible reference for pretty much anything that goes on. Without them, no one could formulate an argument or opinion on any sports-related topic.
Thus, in order to really assess the Sixers thus far, it is important (and also fun) to find some statistics that can give a further explanation on trends of the team. Plus, they can be viewed as a tool to identify areas that need improvement.
The stats on the surface are not the only ones mentioned. In fact, almost every stat leads to some form of another stat. Let's see what the numbers have to say, because of course, the numbers never lie.
Stat: 90.9 points per game allowed (first in the NBA)
The Sixers have always been regarded as a solid defensive team, and this year they have merely solidified that title.
Even without the great defender Andre Iguodala and without Andrew Bynum, the Sixers have maintained the strongest defense in the league. So let's stop here and rejoice about their defense, right? Well, not so fast.
Despite allowing the least amount of points per game, they have not fared so well against potential playoff teams. Against the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz, the Sixers have allowed an average of 97 points per game.
The defensive side of the game is where the Sixers flourish, and it is exactly how they will win their games. But note that the defense needs to show up against the big teams and unfortunately it has not.
Stat: Sixers average 89.8 points per game (28th in the league)
Well, you can't lead them all, right?
Unfortunately offensive production as a whole tends to be an issue. The Sixers have lacked a number one scorer for a while and finally when they land a big-time center...well, let's not go there.
Anyway, Jrue Holiday is the only one who seems to be putting forth consistent production here, averaging 18.4 points per game. Aside from him, no Sixer is averaging over 13.5 points per game, and only four other players average more than ten.
True, Philadelphia likes to spread the ball around, but that is not an excuse for the lack of offensive production.
Another startling stat: The Sixers rank 29th in the league in field goal percentage, 41 percent, just barely above the Washington Wizards.
Stat: The Sixers are 5-2 in games where Nick Young scores double-digit points.
I'm pretty sure if I made a dollar for every shot he took I would be a millionaire by the end of the season. OK, obviously I'm just kidding (but, seriously though, I'm about 90 percent sure I'd be a millionaire).
However frustrating you find Young's shooting habits, it is apparent that when he is in his groove, the Sixers are usually successful.
Like a lot of volume shooters, Young can be streaky, but when he is on he cannot be stopped. We saw this shooter's phenomenon take place twice against the Toronto Raptors this year and once against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In each of those games he shot over 50 percent from the field, and in the second matchup against Toronto, he recorded 23 points.
Perhaps this will go to show one lesson for all Sixers fans: Live and die with the swag of Nick "SwaggyP" Young.
Stat: When Jrue Holiday records over 10 assists, the Sixers are undefeated (4-0)
Holiday has been putting together a spectacular season and having a significant impact on Philadelphia's team play so far this season.
He has stepped up against great point guards—he recorded over ten assists against Rajon Rondo and Ty Lawson—and that's something he struggled to do consistently last season. And keep in mind that he shut down Kyrie Irving, holding him to just two point in the last 36 minutes. You know, no big deal.
Holiday is becoming a double-double threat every night and is definitely establishing himself as a legit point guard in the league.
Another fun stat: Holiday currently ranks third in the league in field goal attempts with 190.
Stat: Evan Turner is barely shooting over 40 percent from the field.
Unfortunately this stat happens to be "startling" because it is more of a concern.
In fact, he shot 2-of-7 against Denver, 2-of-9 against the Knicks, 2-of-7 against the Raptors and 1-of-6 against the Pistons.
Shooting was an issue entering the league for Turner, and it still is. But after being in the league for two years and practicing on this aspect specifically for that duration, there are no longer any excuses for the inconsistency.
Turner needed to thrive this year. This was the year in which he was due to breakout. Of course, there is still time, and averaging nearly 12 points and 7.4 rebounds per game is by no means considered a bad season. Those are respectable numbers.
However, the Sixers invested a lot in Turner, and he needs to show that he can be a consistent and significant force on both ends of the floor.