Sixers Personnel Not a Good Fit For Princeton Offense

Doug DonofrioCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2009

WASHINGTON - MAY 2: Head coach Eddie Jordan of the Washington Wizards watches from the sideline during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 2, 2008 in Washington, DC. The Cavaliers won 105-88 to advance to the next round. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Let's try to fully understand what is really going on in Philadelphia.

Ed Stefanski, Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager hired long time friend and cohort Eddie Jordan to coach this team after Jordan sold the organization on his "Princeton Offense".

Ed Stefanski was buying regardless of the proverbial hard sell. Stefanski and Jordan have had a relationship for over thirty years going back to their days running their respective team's point guard duties; Stefanski at Penn, Jordan at Rutgers.

They have kept in touch through the years and reconnected their familiarity in 1999 when Stefanski was the scouting director and Jordan was the assistant coach in New Jersey.

That is some history, but that is not why I am writing this article. Jordan is trying to implement a system to players that do not fit the baseline criteria.

The Princeton Offense in its purest form is a half court design primarily suited for quasi-athletes who move without the ball, space the floor, and generate high percentage shots.

The Sixers roster antagonistically is chock full of athletes who by their very nature are not good shooters or move well without the ball, but possess the ability to run the floor in transition and slash to the basket.

The Princeton Offense was originally designed to take advantage of the type of personnel Princeton recruited. 

Can the Princeton Offense effectively work in Philadelphia?

It worked in Sacramento extremely well. Why? The personnel was suited to moving without the ball, spacing the floor, and hitting open shots. Webber, Bibby, Stojakovich, Christy, and Divac formed the nucleus of the offense.

It worked to a large degree in New Jersey under assistant Jordan's tutelage; Kidd, Jefferson, Kerry Kittles, Kenyon Martin, and Todd MacCollugh formed that nucleus.

It worked to a small degree in Washington with Jordan and the Wizards. Never to the point where they were successful in winning a playoff round however.

Will it work with a team that does not pass or shoot the ball real well? I do not believe it will. The Sixers average less than 17 assists a game and less than 45% shooting from the field; not prerequisites for the Princeton offense.

Where do we go from here? The chicken or the egg theory.

Do we find the right personnel to fit the offense or do we find a different coach who can maximize what the Sixers personnel dictates?

We have had both and neither seems to have worked. Now what?

You decide.