When Rafer Alston slapped Eddie House in the back of the head, Ben Q. Rock of Third Quarter Collapse said on the Twitter that an Alston suspension would mean that the Celtics would likely win Game 3 in Orlando. Does losing Alston make that much of a difference?
Ben Q’s co-author Eddy Rivera, who kills it over at TQC ever day with stats analysis, ran the numbers and found that Alston and Anthony Johnson have been a wash offensively during the playoffs.
In the regular season, Alston was a better distributor and turned the ball over less often than “AJ.” Johnson’s defensive numbers for the season look solid–the Magic gave up the same number of points per possession with AJ in the lineup as they did when he was on the bench.
One interesting nugget: Eddy says that we could see Courtney Lee spend some time guarding Rajon Rondo tomorrow, since AJ has trouble guarding quick points. We’ve seen lots of teams guard Rajon with taller guys (Kobe, Jared Jeffries) who play a step or two off of Rajon, daring him to shoot the jumper. Something to watch tomorrow.