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Shooting 59 Percent and Losing

 

The Celtics shot 59.5 percent against Oklahoma City and lost.

How rare a thing is this?

Since the 1987 season (the first season in Basketball Reference’s full database of games), the C’s have hit at least 59 percent of their shots in a game 61 times (including last night’s loss), according to BR. In other words, this sort of hot shooting happens about twice per season.

The C’s record in those 61 games?

Try 57-4.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane and check out the box scores from those three prior losses. Just for kicks.

Game #1: 2/18/90, Boston (110) @ Lakers (116) (NO!)

Boston box score:

And LA:

The Lakers got themselves 15 more field-goal attempts and 11 more free throw attempts than Boston, which explains how you win a game in which the other team shoots 61 percent and you shoot 47 percent.

The Reggie Lewis line makes me sad.

I loved Charles Smith, since I was a Georgetown fan as a kid. Didn’t work out for the kid in the league.

Onto Game #2:

1/7/05: Boston (104) vs Detroit (110)

Boston box score:

Detroit:

What a strange collection of players on that 2005 Celtic team. Look at Ricky Davis! And Al Jefferson!  And Jiri Welsch was randomly instrumental in the C’s acquiring Rajon Rondo!

Again we see the devastating combination of turnovers, opponent free throws and offensive rebounds. What a beast Ben Wallace was in 2005.

Rasheed Wallace attempted one three-pointer in this game. His team won.

Finally:

Game #3: 4/12/06: Boston (112) @ Indiana (116)

Boston box score:

And Indy:

This could very well be the greatest game of Gerald Green’s career, and, fittingly, the Celtics lost. Indy’s 14 offensive rebounds (including five by Jermaine O’Neal, who always seemed to play well against the C’s from around 2002-2006) hurt, as did the fact that Austin Croshere, clinging to relevance, hit 4-of-8 from deep.

Remember how Peja Stojakovic played in Indiana for about five minutes? That was random.

  • Jay P

    Just seeing Reggie’s name in a box score makes me well up a bit…

    Oh what could have been.

    Look I won’t blame the refs completely, the C’s still had chances to win that game and didn’t get the job done.

    But last night was disgusting, truly disgusting. I’m sick and tired of them coddling Bryant/James/Durant. It just makes the game not fun to watch. These are grown men and extremely gifted athletes, let them play for gods sake.

    Officiating in the NBA has reached truly insane levels of disparity and just downright absurdity. It is the one glaring black eye in this league, and it continues to shock me every time a game like this happens and Stern refuses to address the issue, in light of all the scandals in the past few years.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    The refs were terrible on some calls, but there was also a tremendous lack of D. OK shot 51%. I lost count of how many layups Westbrook got in the lane. I love Rondo, but some nights he really is in the game moving his feet (like the Houston game) & then some nights he just concedes the drive. He turns into a prima donna bullfighter. Also, I cannot remember a SINGLE TIME this year that Rondo has drawn a charge. There are only TWO Celtics who are willing or able to draw charges & the rest of the league knows it. Seems like layups are a great way to say your defense sucks.

    TA has brought energy & D to many a game yet he was not even given a single chance vs the Durantula. I’ve seen TA play great vs some of the league’s best, especially at ball denial. I think TA is the best C at ball denial. Very hard for the hot hand to beat you when they can’t get the ball or get the ball where they want it. Don’t remember seeing Quis shutting anyone down in the last few months. Is Doc playing some kind of mind games with the bench? Is Doc coaching a team geared around defense???

    What is this team’s identity? Does this team hang their hat on Defense? If so, I would expect to see a lot more ugly, low scoring games. I would expect to see a lot more physical play & especially a lot fewer layups. We have morphed from a hard nosed, grinding defensive team to a soft, finesse, Lakerish team. When is the last time you saw a hard foul on a guy going for the umpteenth layup? I sure do miss Leon who was willing to take a charge, and I miss PJ who would not think twice about knocking someone to the floor & fighting like a rabid beast for the rebound.

    I would much rather hear the beautiful sound of shot clock violations on D, and see the other team held to a season low in points than see a fancy pass or dunk or a perfect offense.

  • Dirk from OKC

    Cptn Bubbles.

    I love D as well…nothing sexier, the one big thing I think that has changed for the Thunder vs the first Celt’s Thunder game, is KDs intensity. He didn’t know how to fight off a defender blanketing him. Now he knows he can’t push back, hold back some arms, etc.

    I expect a heated game next time the two meet!!

  • http://thinkshesmorelike.wordpress.com jylze

    the refs swung the balance in this game. i know the Cs didn’t “deserve” the win with that porous D, but OKC didn’t deserve the win either.

  • Dirk from OKC

    Green hit two 3s and Ray Ray missed two…that’s what ‘swung the game’. Irony considering they were part of a trade 3 yrs ago.

  • Jay P

    @Dirk

    Like I said, they had chances, and missed them, so I don’t blame the refs completely.

    But the momentum of this game was not decided by the players, but controlled by a whistle, and it’s just downright wrong.

  • Jay P

    Oh and don’t hang you’re hate on one game and say “Green is god.” He’s a spot up shooter, and got into a rhythm in this game to hit some big shots. Eddie House has done it too. He could just as easily be cold next time and brick both of those.

    Ironic that they were involved in that trade, yes. But Ray-Ray is a hall-of-famer, and one of the top 10 best pure-shooters in the history of the game (who will be #1 in 3-pts made by the end of his career… sorry Reggie, still love ya bro) so no, there are no regrets from this one fluke showing from Green.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    just bought playoff tickets for Gm1. they opened for sale today at noon and i was sitting on the fence whether it was worth the cash. last night’s game gave me hope. looking forward to it…..i fear no deer….nor heat wave.

    in sheed we trust

  • DRJ1

    Theory about TA vs. Quis: Doc may be giving Quis one last go-round, one last test to see what he can bring to the table, using these last few games for that purpose. If Quis fails… as he is… Doc may then decide to go back to “ol’ reliable” (wow, did I just type that about TA??). Ok… “ol’ known quantity” TA, then.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @DRJ1 agree. doc is trying to let one of them stepup and take it….neither have really grabbed it so far.

    if the playoffs started today i’d go with TA too. but i wouldn’t allow him on the floor for the last 5minutes….mental mistakes change the momentum of both teams.

  • joe

    The Celtics are tough and smart. They foul a lot, all the time, and dare the refs to make the calls – whether it is Rondo “trying to block” Brad Miller’s shot or incessant moving screens. I’m not talking shit. This is smart basketball and most teams do some of this. The Celtics do a lot of it. Some of the Celtics success, on both offense and defense, is based on this smart strategy. However, like most strategies there is a cost. Some games the refs will try to keep the fouls even between teams – as if that is somehow fair – and the aggressive teams wins gains a huge advantage. Other times, the refs are going to just go ahead and call the fouls and you get screwed.

  • T DOG

    I no celtics played terrible defense last nite. But come on man. dey did it on da offensive side wit shooting 60% for da game. OKC shot like 49% and dey still win? Dey were gettin all da calls dere way dat was bullshit.

  • Berkcelt

    I think TA clearly deserves minutes over Daniels, for defense alone. Tony was playing well then he hurt his back versus Charlotte I believe it was and missed a game or two, Finley came on and Doc decided to ditch TA. Meanwhile Daniels had been (and still is) playing in a slump since he came back from his wrist injury. Quis got into foul trouble versus Denver so Doc had to put Tony in and he kicked butt. TA then played a great first half versus Sacramento and what did Doc do…subbed Daniels as the first wing off the bench in the second half. I don’t really get it. I guess Marquis is supposed to be the better player and Doc is hoping he’ll come around, but I think if he keeps jerking these guys around neither will be ready for the playoffs.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I agree with Berkcelt. The fans can see who is playing harder on D & making more of an impact, but Doc is playing mind games with the bench or is just completely blind & inept. After hearing lots of interviews, I think Doc does a lot of his coaching based on hunches & gut thinking rather than what is ACTUALLY WORKING IN THE GAME at hand. Does anyone think that Doc’s guts are smart enough to get us to the finals???

  • Jay P

    @ Cptn Bubbles

    Editted you’re question a bit:

    “Does anyone think that KG’s knee is strong enough to get us to the finals???”

    Really the only thing worth talking about. Doc’s rotations with TA/Daniels, or whatever the hell he’s thinking just doesn’t matter. It’s all about the starters, always has been.

    The bench can be a great addition, but we could win games with them playing poorly (but certainly not as easily) the reverse is not true. We can’t win with the Big 3 playing poorly.

  • I love Green

    Now im just sad.

  • Jrmz

    It isn’t a game when it constantly has to stop for a whistle. Younger players would have cracked under the frustration of having to keep seeing Durant get to the line. The vets hung on and kept playing well because I can only imagine how frustrating it is to get hacked but the refs just ignore you.

  • Ray Leighton

    I don’t think that it is just the starters at this point. Yeah, no question, if our starters are not healthy, then we are dead in the water in the playoffs. But given our age, we need to have major contributions from our bench, just to keep our starters fresh. I can understand why Doc might want to give Quis another chance, and why he might want to try to build the chemistry of the second rotation, but we are going to need both Quis and TA if we are going to have a serious shot. Paul played 37 minutes last night, and we’ve all noted that Paul shoots better with less minutes. Do you think maybe he got a little tired trying to handle Durant? (I’m not saying that Paul had a bad game, but maybe he would have had a better game with a couple of extra minutes resting). Would it have hurt to put in TA with the starters for five minutes in the third quarter, to give Paul some rest and to harass Durant and break up the flow of OKC’s offense? I don’t understand why this is so difficult for Doc.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Totally agree with Ray. Giving TA a few minutes to see if he could ball deny KD would have been smart.

    It’s not just about the big 3 anymore, especially now. Yes, they are at the core, but look at what the Cs did to Orlando w/o Pablo. Look at what the Cs did to the Raps w/o 2 stars. Coaches can & do make a difference. Why did Kobe want Phil back? Why do the Spurs have several titles with Pop? Why did Red get the most out of his players? Coaching can make a big difference. Just look at how Avery choked vs G St.

    Doc has admitted himself that he should not have played Paul some games, especially at the Pacers at the beginning of the year. Doc needs to get over this fear & be able to pull ONE starter if they are continually getting beat & do not have their shot going. Doc needs to do whatever it takes to win & stop worrying about the starter’s feelings.

  • XMan12

    Look guys, I agree with all of you about the refs and I will say this…I have the league pass and every night I see the “bad officiating” but the trick is that its not bad refs… ITS LIKE THAT ON PURPOSE to make the games more exciting…Its horrible!! Have you noticed how every national TV game is tied or within a 5+/- margin at the start of the 4th?? I watch ALOT of basketball from all over the world (big satellite dish) and this only happens consistently in the NBA. The solution is easy, the fans gotta start getting real loud and serious about getting instant replay rules similar to the NFL’s. Each team gets a couple and they use them till they run out. This will also cut out some genuine bad calls because the refs don’t want to be consistently wrong on a call for all the world to see. (Imagine J Crawford or Bavetta with some crazy “overturned” stat..hilarious..) The way it is now its easy for them to CONTROL THE GAMES when they need to and its real obvious…oh and don’t let them feed you the “it will slow the game down” line because they can easily go to commercial (I’m sure Stern wouldn’t mind the cash in) plus there are plenty of things that slow the game down (clock issues, etc)
    that don’t happen every game so the time will even out. I know I sound like a conspiracy theorist but I’m just calling it how I see it…great site btw!!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405427219 Johnmark

    (BTW, my new fivtraoe baseball nickname? Texas hurler Derek Holland. The Dutch Oven.)

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