Sixers embrace analytics wave with Hinkie hire

Sixers embrace analytics wave with Hinkie hire

May 10, 2013, 9:15 pm
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The Sixers are definitely headed in a new direction.

A league source confirmed on Friday that 35-year-old Sam Hinkie will assume the role of team president and GM with the Sixers (see story). Hinkie has been in the Houston Rockets’ front office for eight years and became vice president of basketball operations in 2007 before being elevated to executive vice president in '10. He worked with highly respected general manager Daryl Morey in the Rockets' front office.

Morey and Hinkie are strong proponents of statistical analytics -- the new “it” in professional sports. They analyze numbers and decide what is the best way to proceed in drafting talent and making trades.

For example, the Rockets have a formula that if they make a third of their three-point attempts, the opposition must make 50 percent of their own two-point field goals to stay even.

As a result, the Rockets attempted a league-high 33.7 threes per game. They made 34.7 of those shots, good enough for fourth highest in league. Houston also averaged 106 points per game, second most to the Denver Nuggets, who were barely higher at 106.1.

Defensively, the Rockets were not one of the stronger teams. However, they did win 45 games and made the playoffs as the final team in the Western Conference before losing to the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in six games.

Hinkie interviewed for the Sixers’ general manager job last summer before the team ultimately placed Tony DiLeo in the position. DiLeo was only given a one-year contract that expires on June 30.