Post-game Reactions

Some interesting stats that caught my eye in recent days, none of which is really worth of a post on its own but all of which are interesting:

Stat #1:

• Let’s start with a good one: Rajon Rondo gets a lot of publicity for going back-and-forth with Steve Nash for the league lead in field-goal percentage among guards. And that’s great. But we’re overlooking another Celtic in this discussion. Via the Elias Sports Bureau’s pre-game notes for yesterday’s game against the Cavs:

· Ray Allen’s .550 two-point field-goal percentage is the highest for any NBA guard this season (minimum: 175 two-point FGs) and Rajon Rondo’s .544 shooting percentage from two-point range is third-highest.  Sandwiched between the Boston’s backcourt tandem is Steve Nash (.547).

I did not know that. So of course the first thing I did was check Hoopdata.com to see specifically which shots Ray is shooting better this season.

And that yields a few interesting things:

• Ray hasn’t changed his shot selection patterns in any extreme way. His three-point attempts are down from 6.2 per game last season to 4.9 this season, but his overall shot attempts are down from 13.2 in ’09 to 12.4 this year. So he’s still taking close to same percentage of his shots from deep.

• In terms of volume, the only other major increase comes in shots from between the rim and 10-feet from the hoop. Ray is attempting 1.1 shots from this range per game, up from 0.6 last season, and he’s dropping half of them.

• The big change in accuracy, though, has come in the floater area—10 to 15 feet from the rim. Ray is hitting 58 percent from this range, up from 47 percent last season and 31 percent in ’08. That’s a big jump. But he’s actually attempting fewer shots from this range (0.9 shots per game) than he did in either of his prior seasons in Boston (1.2 last season, 1.0 the season before). Again, though: his overall shot attempts are down, so the proportion of shots Ray takes from this range is about the same as in those two seasons.

Either way: Nice work from Jesus Shuttlesworth

Stat #2:

Also via Elias:

· The Celtics have committed 10 or more turnovers in each of their last 35 games (ed. note: now 36), the longest current streak by any NBA team.  Boston has had only one game this season with fewer than 10 turnovers (nine in a 106-80 win at Chicago on Dec. 12).

Sad face. A clarification: Several commentators noted that the C’s committed just 9 turnovers last Wednesday against Memphis—an absurdly low number for Boston—and somehow got smushed anyway. This appears to be wrong, at least according to Elias and ESPN’s box score, which both list Boston with 10 turnovers. (The Yahoo! box score still has Boston with 9 turnovers).

One thing I’ve learned writing about the NBA every day: Turnovers are tricky and box scores are not immediately accurate. Yahoo! and ESPN will often have different turnover numbers both during and shortly after a game, but they usually line up by the next day. Some box scores don’t factor in team turnovers (such as shot clock violations) quickly, and some sites (like Basketball Reference) don’t include team TOs in box scores at all.

Stat #3:

Entering Sunday’s game against Cleveland, Rasheed Wallace had attempted a total of 9 three-pointers in his last six games. This is a revolution on par with the Bolshevik uprising of 1917. We sort of joked about Sheed’s newfound restraint early last week, but I didn’t expect it to last beyond the three-game stretch we highlighted.

But it has.

To put this six-game stretch into perspective, the lowest number of three-pointers Sheed had attempted in any prior six-game stretch this season was 14 (in the six-game stretch between Jan. 31 and Feb. 10).

More perspective: Sheed attempted 40 three-pointers in the first six games of the season. Forty. 4-0.

Even the longer-term trend is pointing downward in terms of threes:

Sheed’s first 32 games: 154 three-point attempts (4.8 per game)

Sheed’s last 31 games: 103 three-point attempts (3.4 per game)

This can’t be a coincidence. The coaching staff obviously said something to Sheed around the New Year, and he’s adjusted his shot selection significantly. The lower number of attempts (3.4) are still probably too many given his dismal percentage, but this is progress.

Progress amid a disastrous season for Sheed. But still progress, I guess.

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Zach Lowe

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  • Jay P

    I like the the trends in Sheed’s offensive usage, no doubt.

    But he’s still a god awful useless, overpaid waste of talent.

    He doesn’t play defense, and he doesn’t block out. He’s now regressed into an entirely on dimensional player. He’s good at only one thing, posting up on the block. That’s it.

  • slam

    I still feel like it might not be impossible that Sheed attempts 51 three pointers in tonight’s game, and then we’ll see there really hasn’t been any improvement (reduction) in the last 32 games 🙂

  • @slam: I wish I had thought of that line.

  • Conall Mac Michael

    These stats seem to lend credence to the opinion held by many of us that Ray is still a basketball machine. He’s been so efficient over the course of his career I ‘m beginning to wonder if he was manufactured in some Volkswagon plant in Bavaria. Anyway the trade Ray talk should die down because its just stupid. Still don’t know where I am with Sheed. I do know whenever he shoots it I say “I don’t want you taking that shot”, which probably means I don’t like him. Looking forward to tonight’s game then getting up tomorrow to go drinking,,,,,,,Go Celts.

  • Jay P


    Cheers on that one friend!

    I got tickets to Wednesdays game vs. New York, on St Patty’s day…

    Ya, I took thursday off work. Green beer here I come!

  • Cptn Bubbles

    When Ray is hot he does not get the ball. Instead, we get the ball to the guy who is most open because Doc says an open shot is a good shot. A hot shooter or a match-up nightmare is a better shot, but that takes effort & brains to get the ball to the guy in the zone or causing match-up migraines so it’s not going to happen.

    What are the chances of Ray having a 40+ game when he is hot? ZERO because #1 we do not recognize the hot hand #2 we always go for the path of least resistance, ez pass to the cold or bad shooter #3 if Doc recognizes Ray is hot he thinks, ‘wow, Ray is on fire. This should make it easier to get the ball to Paul & get him going’

    KG will never break 30pts. It’s not because he can’t. It’s because he will pass the ball instead of taking the 6 ft jumper. KG has had some great shooting games where he is either on fire or being guarded by someone who he can easily shoot over…BUT after he gets up to 7-10 shots he will almost always pass it. Paul & Ray could be Antarctic ice cold, & KG will still not shoulder the scoring load for one game. He could be an explosive scorer for that game when he is hot, but he settles for fewer shots, mediocrity, & a loss.

    The only way Ray is going to get the ball a lot is if he is cold because Doc would want to get him going. Defenses just have to play a little off our cold shooters, & we’ll take care of the rest.

  • DRJ1

    @Bubbles– I know you jest (mostly), but some of what you say about Doc is true, and it’s not so nutty. Because right now, his goal is, correctly, to get the team ready to play and win in the playoffs. He cares a lot more about that than about actually winning games. So if he has a choice between winning and helping a guy get up to speed, he might choose the latter now.

    The good part, obviously, is that all that stops once we actually get to the playoffs.

  • Letourn

    Here’s what Doc needs to do: Bench Rasheed! Yes this will not fly with him but I see Big Baby outplaying and outhustling him. Sheed wanders around no movement, no posting up. He needs to sit or this trend will continue and maybe this would light a fire under his A**!!!!

  • Jay P


    I 100000000000% agree!

    I love Baby being on the court, he hussles his ass off and that kinda energy is contagious. Hell I’d rather see Scal out there right now and Sheed, at least he’d block someone out and set good screens. We have enough shooters in that second unit, we need hard-nose guys who will hustle and work for the ball, not whiny cry-baby primadonas who can’t be bothered to break a sweat.

  • Jay P


    I agree and I think that’s the point on Doc, that all comes down to shooting. He needs to get in KGs ear when he has a hot hand.

    KG his 6 of 7 in a half, the next time out Doc should be there saying “Kevin, I want you shooting, I want you shooting over, under, around, and through people, and then I want you to keep shooting. Everyone else, get Kevin the ball.” But far too often we see the exact opposite, someone gets hot, and they just continue to distribute, when other plays aren’t shooting nearly as well. Yes make the open pass and don’t force shots, but don’t pass up good looks when you’re hot.

    And that is Doc’s job to make sure the hot hand is taking those shots.

  • Conall Mac Michael

    @ Jay P

    Looks like you’ve got a good Wednesday planed out. I’ll have to settle for Dublin but the city council have put together a good week of events so should be good craic, Hope ya have a good one.

    As for Doc I sometimes wonder what the practices are like. His coaching in games e.g(his refusal to go with the hot hand) sometimes reminds of that episode of the Simpsons where Homer is the pee wee football coach and he refuses to let Nelson play QB because he wants Bart to play it instead even though he’s shite. Any thoughts anyone?

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Great point. I cannot imagine the Cs practicing the way they are playing —especially on D. I think the Cs practice one way & then play the exact opposite. Doc has gone on & on about not switching on D. I bet they never switch in practice without Doc hollering. When it really matters in an actual game they are out there switching everything. Rondo can be seen constantly pointing to some guy & switching to someone else who is closer. It cost them big in a previous game with the Pistons when they were trying to get a stop & the guy Rondo was pointing at, Rip, got a wide open little jumper at the end of the game to help seal the win.

    The problem is no accountability. Doc just lets them keep switching. It’s like the mother who lets her kids get away with murder instead of instilling some discipline & correcting them. Anything goes when it comes to games. Doc is a facilitator. That’s why if they have to blow this team up they have to start with Doc. He is waaaayyyy too much of a PLAYER’S coach. He is way to chummy & more interested in being their buddy than holding them accountable & making them play the right way.

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