Sixers 2017-18 Player Evaluation: Marco Belinelli

Marco Belinelli

Position: Guard

Status for 2018-19: Unrestricted free agent

Belinelli in 2017-18
The Sixers signed Belinelli in February after the veteran guard reached a buyout agreement with the Hawks.

In 28 regular-season games with the Sixers, Belinelli averaged 13.6 points on 49.5 percent shooting, 38.5 percent from three-point range. He had a 112 offensive rating, the highest of any regular Sixer. His job was to ignite the Sixers' offense off the bench, and he played that role about as well as you could ask. The Sixers had a 23-5 record in those 28 games.  

When Belinelli's shot isn't falling, however, he doesn't provide much value, as the Sixers saw in the playoffs.

He was excellent in the first-round series against the Heat, averaging 16.6 points and posting 25 points in the Sixers' blowout win in Game 1. He also didn't look overmatched defensively.

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The series against the Celtics was an entirely different story. Belinelli struggled with his jumper, posting 9.2 points per game on 34 percent shooting. And he was a major defensive liability, not quick enough or strong enough to hang with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown or really anyone he matched up against.

As a side note, Belinelli was also an incredibly entertaining player to watch - he is the king of the tightly-contested, leaning, probably ill-advised yet supremely confident jumper.

Signature game
"The Confetti Game" was almost Belinelli's signature moment. If he'd just been a step behind the three-point line on his baseline jumper at the buzzer instead of a step inside it, Belinelli would have been the hero of Game 3 against the Celtics. Unfortunately for him, all the confetti had to be swept off the court, and the Sixers lost in overtime.

Outside of "The Confetti Game," Belinelli's debut may have been his best moment this season. He scored 17 points in the Sixers' 104-102 win over the Heat on Feb. 14, including 13 in the second half, helping the Sixers erase a 23-point halftime deficit.

Looking ahead to 2018-19
Belinelli loves Philadelphia and he thinks he'll be back next season (see story).

Ultimately, the Sixers will have to determine what he's worth in free agency and whether his offensive spark off the bench is valuable enough to outweigh his defensive deficiencies. At 32 years old, Belinelli is what he is -  a potent bench scorer who you probably will need to hide on defense, especially in the postseason. 

Belinelli chose the Sixers after his buyout with the Hawks and wants to be a part of the next stage of the process, so he very well could stay in Philadelphia even if the Sixers don't have the highest offer.

On Belinelli
"I think the firepower that we needed from somebody was provided by him. I give tremendous credit to Bryan Colangelo for making this happen. We gave up no assets to bring him in and we bring in somebody that can change a game like that."

- Brett Brown on Belinelli after the guard's Sixers debut

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