Post-game Reactions

First, the efficiency stats:

Pace: 89 possessions (slightly below average)

Offensive Efficiency: 103.3 points/100 possessions (bad)

Defensive Efficiency: 109.7 points allowed/100 possessions (bottom-10)

Not good, either way, and you really have to resist the temptation of the average NBA fan to ignore those 9 first-quarter turnovers just because the game was in the balance late. Those lost possessions matter—those unforced traveling violations, hesitant passes and reckless decisions in the first 12 minutes represent lost points and easy buckets for the bad guys.

The NBA cynic looks at a game like this and says, “Hey, more evidence that you only have to watch the last 2:00 of an NBA game.” But how do those last two minutes play out if the first 12 play out differently?

To wit: The C’s shot 49 3 percent from the floor. They went 28-10 in the regular season when they hit at least 49 percent of their shots. Do the non-shooting things a little better, and this is a W.

• Kendrick Perkins went scoreless for the second straight game. And while Perk is doing nice work embarrassing Jermaine O’Neal into a disastrous shooting performance, getting a goose-egg from your starting center over 60 minutes of playing time is not a good thing.

• Since the KG/Ray trades, Perk has been held scoreless seven times in the regular season and three times in the post-season, according to Basketball-Reference. The C’s are 7-3 in those games.

• Ray Allen was 2-of-5 (40 percent) from the foul line. As you might imagine, this is an extremely rare thing. Throughout his 14 seasons in the league, Ray Allen has hit fewer than 50 percent of his free attempts in a game just 59 times in the regular season and four times in the post season, according to Basketball-Reference.

But those numbers only hint at the rarity of Sunday’s 2-of-5 performance. In 39 of those 63 games (regular season and post-season), Ray has attempted either 1 or 2 free throws.

In how many of those games did Ray get up to 5 attempts and still hit fewer than 50 percent of them?

Three. Two in the regular season and Sunday in the playoffs.

Bad timing, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s all-time great game-icing foul shooter. Chalk it up as a fluke and move on.

• Perhaps the most important stat of the game: Dwyane Wade hit 5-of-7 (71 percent) from three-point range, including a perfect 4-of-4 over the first 5:49 of the 4th quarter. Those four three-pointers—plus three foul shots after another attempt on which Ray Allen allegedly fouled Wade—accounted for 15 of the 20 Miami points in a 20-5 Heat run to start the 4th quarter.

The shooting prompted lots of talk about how Wade has improved his form and worked to become a threat from three-point range.

This is partly true. As recently as 2008, Wade attempted just 77 threes all season. That’s a Rondo-esque number of attempts. This season? He attempted 243 threes—about 3 per game—and hit 30.0 percent of them. So Wade has managed to triple his number of three-point attempts without seeing his shooting percentage drop.

But that shooting percentage is still pretty bad. How bad? Well, 131 players made enough three-pointers to qualify for the three-point shooting title this season, according to ESPN.com. Of those 131 players, guess where Dwyane Wade’s 30 percent mark ranked?

Any guesses?

Try 128th.

That was good enough to put Wade one spot ahead of….

Rasheed Wallace. So Wade ranked one spot above the guy every NBA writer spent the entire season trashing for his shot selection and poor shooting percentages.

My point: An NBA team should generally be satisfied if Dwyane Wade is shooting contested threes. The C’s could have been more aggressive after D-Wade hit his first two threes of the 4th quarter on Sunday; they didn’t trap him until the halfway point of the quarter, and Sheed opted not to jump out as Wade dribbled around a screen just before launching one of those threes.

They could have done more.

But should they have done more? That’s a harder question, and one that comes down to whether you believe there is such a thing as a hot hand. If you do, you probably think Doc waited too long in the 4th to start running two guys at Wade every time he touched the ball.

If you don’t, you’re probably satisfied with the defense, and you’d probably point out that Carlos Arroyo (3-of-7), Mario Chalmers (3-of-7, with a huge three at the 9:51 mark of the 4th) and Michael Beasley  (6-of-13, but much better when receiving the ball from Wade on screen/rolls) all showed the ability to hurt Boston if left wide open.

Me? I’m willing to live with Wade shooting contested threes—provided you contest them as planned. I’m not sure that happened on all four of those three-pointers. To the videotape!

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Zach Lowe

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  • clasher101

    Its hard to sweep a team, they were fighting i think more for their pride than anything else. Wade played out of his mind, i’d be shocked if the celts don’t win by more than 15 in game 5 to make a statement, even if wade plays like this again.

  • I’m expecting a double-digit win.

  • DRJ1

    If we accept as fact that both the NBA and the Celtics (and the Heat) lose millions of dollars if this series ends after 4 games, then it can fairly be said that the outcome of this game followed the money.

    Much of human behavior follows the money. That’s why capitalism works, and socialism mostly doesn’t.

    Now I’m NOT saying that all these people got together and conspired to do anything. That’s just too unthinkable (way too many moving parts). But maybe a little of the money factor filtered down to Ray’s FT shooting, and KG’s. Or to that ridiculous first quarter. Why? For the same reason their Gatorade bottles are always turned perfectly to camera. Money underlies ALL these things. I wouldn’t be surprised if it influenced the outcome of this game, on some level. How much, and exactly what level(s)… I have no idea. But perhaps some of these odd numbers of Zach’s have an explanation rooted in the money.

  • What More Can I Say?

    Personally, I thought the C’s took terrible shots in the last 6 minutes. From the 2nd quarter on, they did a phenomenal job moving the ball and that came to an end in the half court sets towards the end of the game. I realize the captain likes to take shots in the 4th quarter, but I’d like to see Rondo get the team in their offense and use all of their weapons. To me, Miami was struggling down the stretch once Boston was MAKING DWade give the rock up. The outcome of the game would of been so much different if Allen and KG made their free throws.

  • Pingback: A Strange Sunday Game, By the Numbers | Boston Celtics Basketball … - ferus.pl()

  • mitch

    When Q-rich scores 20 on you….and ray allen misses 3 free throws…i can’t help but shake my head in disgust

  • Perry

    It seemed to me Wade’s barrage turned the Celtic defenders into willing spectators. There was a moment early in the 4th quarter where Doc actually pointed to a spot on the floor. TA didn’t close and Wade responded putting the Heat up by one. At that juncture Doc pulled TA, which drew a rave by Van Gundy.

    But bleeding didn’t stop there. Wade was given just enough room to do his damage because his first step was so hard to counter.

    Off a time out with Miami up 5 the Celtic defense started overplaying him with a variety of doubles and blitzes. The results? The Heat stretched the lead to 7 with less than 4 minutes left.

    It’s no embarrassment to fall prey to a great player like Wade, nevertheless if it were not for three consecutive missed free throws, and a blown lay up, the outcome might have been different.

    Perhaps Doc should have called a few time outs when Wade started going off?

    I thought he let them play too long in the first quarter, and repeated that mistake in the fourth. Just to throw off his rhythm or simply regroup for a few minutes may have stopped the Heat’s surge. Let’s also point out the bench needs to regroup and reload for tomorrow night. Celts got nothing out of Davis and Sheed early in that 4th quarter.

    As great as Wade is there is a gap between him and LeBron. So if Wade can win one by himself what does that say about Lebron? Do you load up on LBJ or do you switch less and compromise Pierce’s offense for the series?

    I think it’s reasonable to start talking about Cleveland, but the bottom line about yesterday is — it’s one game.

    If all of us were polled before the series started, based on their choppy regular season performance, a huge majority would be just fine sitting on a 3-1 lead with the closeout game upcoming in Boston.

  • @DRJ1: You’re dangerously close to making some pretty bad conclusions there…I think…

  • “bad” as in “bad for the league”

  • Zain

    Zach, can you explain a clear path foul? I wasn’t sure why the foul when rondo was taken down on the layup wasn’t deemed a clear path. I think there was another one I saw but I can’t remember it as well.

  • @Zain–I’d have to watch the tape again. I assume one of the instances you’re talking about was the one when Rondo lay on the court for a bit and I nearly had a heart attack?

  • CG

    Even when the Cs were down by 17, 18, I thought that they were going to win that game, just based on the run of play. Both teams were doing things that they generally haven’t been of late, and it seems reasonable to conclude that we will see a regression to the mean in G5. Cs tighten it up, Wade does not have NBA Jam-style flames shooting from his head, and the Cs win relatively easily.

  • Eugene

    Has anyone else noticed that Perk takes forever to get off a shot when he catches a pass near the rim?

    He seems extremely hesitant. He looks like he could go up and dunk it without any trouble, but then he brings the ball down, waits for the defense to come to him, and THEN goes up……I dont get it, and its driving me crazy

  • Perry


    Understand the strategy of letting Wade operate from his weakest advantage. The numbers prove you right. But if you’re not measuring up at the offensive end the tendency is to trap more, which leads to high percentage shots.

    Back in 08′ in game 7 of the Cleveland series, Pierce was able to measure up with LBJ. Same results with Bird versus Dominique. But those kind of mano a mano duels are few and far between.

    I think it’s sound game planing with a team like Miami who are more likely to wilt down the stench. After all, the Celts could have won that game despite spending a ton of energy getting back into the game, and then chasing Wade around. But Cleveland presents a bigger problem since they have more reliable players to knock down shots off traps and blitzes.

  • DeVelaine

    I chalk this loss up as Dwayne Wade just being ridiculously good. And look forward to Game 5.

  • carlos rizik

    I wanted this game because the extra days of rest, but let’s tip our hats to DWade and the Heat. They fought hard and won a game they were losing entering the fourth quarter. The series ends tomorrow and then we’ll see what this team is really made of.

  • RBD

    @DRJ1 Rather ridiculous argument and reasoning.

  • DRJ1

    Hardly ridiculous when so many millions of dollars are at stake. Actually, it’s arguable that NOTHING can be ridiculous in that context. But….ok, I’ll bite… what’s ridiculous about it?

  • Zain

    @Zach–Yeah, thats the one. I jumped out of my seat when it happened. So, clear path foul?

  • Ray Leighton

    @Eugene — yes, pretty much all of us have repeatedly griped about this through most of the season. That and butterfinger the ball out of bounds after failing to catch the pass, or shuffling his feet until he gets the travel call. There’s a reason why Perk has the worst hands-rating of any starter in the Eastern Conference….

  • rav

    They weren’t ICING FTs that Ray missed, but catching-up FTs (but clutch FTs nonetheless).

  • rav

    Only 19 players with the qualifying # of 3pt Attempts got below .333% (below that, a 3 pointer is less valuable than hitting .500 of 2 pt FGs):

    Including: Brandon Roy, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Jackson, Rudy Gay, Ben Gordon, Lamar Odom, Richard Jefferson, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Igoudala, Dwyane Wade, Baron Davis, Devin Harris