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C’s-Wizards: 68% Shooting Made Depressing Somehow

 

The guys enjoy 12 uninterrupted minutes of Gino.

Pace: 85 possessions (glacial)

Offensive Efficiency: 134.1 points/100 possessions (2nd highest of any NBA game this season)

Defensive Efficiency: 97.6 points allowed/100 possessions (near league best)

(Earlier I had this game as the highest offensive efficiency of any game this season. This was wrong. It’s 2nd highest. Very stupid 3:00 AM mistake. Thanks for your patience).

Be measured with your pats on the back for this game. Yes, the C’s shot their highest percentage in almost two years. Yes, nobody played more than 30 minutes and the starters were out by the fourth quarter. But they did all these things against a defense of almost supernatural ineptitude. The Wizards made their own team name sound sarcastic tonight.

The Celtic lead was only five after the first quarter tonight, but the ending was Shutter Island obvious. The C’s shot 68% and gave up 43% at that point, with the Wiz numbers coming on a lot more shots because A) they pulled down 10 offensive boards and B) the C’s gave up four steals on bad passes in the first four minutes. The Wizards were also being rewarded for terrible shot selection: guys like Gilbert Arenas, Al Thornton, and Nick Young would take a few obligatory dribbles and then, six seconds into the possession, pull up with a long two that they would somehow drain. The Celtics want you to think you can hit those shots for an entire game. By all means, keep taking those.

The lead closed to 3 early in the quarter thanks to a Gilbert trey, some fudged possessions by Nate, and a gangly slam from JaVale McGee. Then the starters came back in and everything was fine. They found each other all over the floor, Shaq continued to abuse the 7-foot, 150 McGee in the lane, and the C’s went on a 16-4 run from which the Wizards would never recover. They absolutely rolled over in the second half. The whole evening ultimately felt like a Shutter Island waste of time.

If you watched this game, you saw at least one high-percentage scoring opportunity on virtually every single trip down the floor for the Celtics. This Wizards team does not know the first thing about defensive rotations, nor any of the other things.

Many, many times tonight a C’s ballhandler took a couple of steps into the paint and no less than three Wizards converged on him, leaving two Celtics on the wing or under the basket trying to figure out how they were suddenly so open. Every Celtic screen seemed to leave two Wiz defenders on either the screener or the ballhandler. For a team that moves the ball as well as the Celtics, this is how you end up with more assists (32) than your opponent has field goals (31). Flip Saunders looked like he never thought a team could make him hate basketball this much.

Here’s a quick representative photo essay and then we’re done with this. First, Rondo approaches Kirk Hinrich at the arc. Like any respectable doorman would, Hinrich creates an unobstructed path for Rondo.

"Evening, Mr. Rondo! Lovely weather we're having."

As Rondo slips Hinrich a two-dollar bill on his way into the lobby, Trevor Booker steps in with a proposition to race Rondo to the hoop backwards.

Rondo cheats and attacks the rim forwards. But all is not lost for this Wiz defensive possession, as Hilton Armstrong, behind Booker, has plenty of time here to contest Rondo’s shot at the rim, or at least administer a smart foul to a poor free throw shooter. In this shot it actually looks like maybe that’s what he has in mind.

Instead, Armstrong gets about three feet, then stops and watches Rondo roll in the two.

Also, how funny is Nick Young (in the corner on Delonte) in these shots? Look at him briefly consider helping out and then go back to just standing around. Anyway, the Wizards ran this anti-play multiple times on both Rondo and Delonte. Blecch. Let’s just hope the C’s didn’t have their conception of opposing defense irreparably shifted before the Thunder game Friday.

Quick Notes:

  • Glen notched another charge tonight on Andray Blatche. I’ve heard varying reports that say it was either his 16th or his 17th. I honestly don’t care how many it is as long as he continues to make that “the nerve”  face as somebody picks him up off the ground.
  • Man, is JaVale McGee a crazy player. He’s Tony Allen plus eight inches and a huge hit of meth. Watch this clip, which contains, in 26 seconds:

-a spectacular rebound over the C’s 3, 4, and 5

-perhaps the worst shot I’ve ever seen in a basketball game

-a perfectly timed steal on the entry pass

-a heads-up monster jam off a Hinrich miss

What a terrible/awesome guy to have on your team. Every single part of that sequence was hugely entertaining.

Hey, here’s a trivia question: name another active player who, like JaVale McGee, has a capitalized-decapitalized-capitalized letter sequence in both his first and last name. Then name a trivia question better than that one, if that’s even possible.

  • Brendan begged Celtics fans in his precap not to make Luke Harangody the next Scalabrine with patronizing crowd overreactions as they did at times this evening. I vehemently support Brendan’s initiative: Scalabrine shouldn’t even have been the old Scalabrine. But I have zero faith that this won’t happen again with Luke. I mean, he’s white, Irish, probably not that great at basketball, and his name has an “oo” sound in it. We’re just going to have to adapt to this reality.
  • Here’s a great Tommy joke you may have heard:

(Al Thornton dribbles over halfcourt and throws up yet another contested pull-up 20-footer)

Mike: Al Thornton comes up firing!

(12 seconds pass on the game clock as Tommy formulates his response)

Tommy: They didn’t hear about the defense budget deal.

So good. The Wizards, even though they reside in our nation’s capital, obviously hadn’t heard about proposed reductions in national defense spending because they were firing. I love it. Tommy also said tonight that you should only get in the lane with Shaq “if you’re into self-abuse.” Huge night for Tommy all around.

  • Hey Lester Hudson! I did not know you were on this team. Still, great to see you and good luck in all your endeavors.
  • TedL

    Awesome writeup – top notch. Was that the Washington Wizards or the Washington Generals?

  • http://queencityhoops.com Brett

    I think you forgot one game – Indiana v Denver on 11/09 – Indiana put up an efficiency of 142 that night.

    • zebulon

      Yeah – the game where they went 20-21 in the 3rd. I think basketball reference is having some issues with its search right now.

      • hdavenport

        Brett: thank you, sir. Hopefully that's the last time I make a statistical error in the title of a post.

        Zeb, thanks for giving me the out, but I still can't imagine how I missed that.

  • JR99

    Great read… if you guys are gonna be this funny, I'm gonna come around a lot more often.

    Just one little comment, please: Mr. McGee may seem like a lot of fun, but he is also the guy who, in a frenzied fit of uncontrolled limb thrashing, punched our one and only resident Turk right in the nose. Drew blood, no less. He's a bum.

    • CsFanInArkansas

      Agreed – complete bum.

    • Devin_in_Maine

      Agreed! If he was going for the ball, he missed by about 2 feet. That should have been a flagrant 1 under the current rules.

      I loved that Semih swished the ensuing free throw. That cat is automatic from the line!

  • CsFanInArkansas

    Great post, Hayes – very good stuff.

    I'd like to request permission to re-use the "anti-play" comment. I can't promise I will always give you credit for it, but I will do my best. Deal?

    • hdavenport

      Permission granted BUT ONLY UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE.

      • CsFanInArkansas

        well played….

  • BrendanJackson

    DeMar DeRozan by the way. And he will DeDunk on your DeFace if you give him DeChance.

    • hdavenport

      WE HAVE A WINNAH

  • James

    As this the only fan-blog that I read, I'm still left wondering it it's also the only one that actually encourages readers/other fans NOT to root effusively for one of the team's young players. The sentiment seems… over thought. It was over thought and poorly reasoned regarding Scals, too.

    • Berkcelt

      How was it over-thought? Especially with Scal? Those "cheers" began as sarcastic and mocking and eventually turned into a lighthearted sideshow.

      Luke will be fine though; if he gets some time, i think it'll be hard to only give him the respect of a human victory cigar/sideshow.

    • hdavenport

      I see where you're coming from, and my response is a little long for the comments. I'll put one up soon. But thanks for this.

      • James

        The "young" thing was just for 'Gody while the inclusion of Scals in my comment was based on (I think?) Zach's rant a while back, around when Scals left as a FA; I didn't think it necessary to say "…regarding old Scals."

        My take on Zach's piece was that he was upset because people cheered inordinately loud for a 12th man who wasn't especially good. As I remember it, the complaint was that people cheered for him despite how hard he needed to work just to get up to speed with the rest (because he sucks and isn't athletic), and that fans should therefore be cheering equally loud for every player who doesn't exhibit the same visible effort, but still performs. Finally, it was implied that it actually had nothing to do with effort or performace (outside of the fact that it's obviously easier to all cheer for a made three than a defensive lapse, but you get my point) but instead was based on the fact that he's (super) white, and fans like that because he's a man of the people, or something, and also because it's Boston.

  • Devin_in_Maine

    Absolutely great piece! Awesome stuff Hayes…Keep it up!

  • Alex

    Hayes, I'm reading this blog for some time – never have I laughed so much reading it – loved every single one of your pieces so far!

    PS: this is not your Grandma encouraging you and shit

  • Savi

    Demar DeRozan

    • hdavenport

      Yes. Now: I only know of one other player in league history with a name like this. WHO IS IT, and more importantly, ARE THERE MORE?

      • hdavenport

        I know what you're thinking: does Delino DeShields qualify here? No, he does not. The L is not capitalized and he never played basketball.

      • Anon

        LaSean McCoy?

        • hdavenport

          LeSean, but YES. That's a good one, also reminded me that Le'Ron McClain is another.

  • James

    I just thought it was insane to suggest that people shouldn't root for a 12th man who seemed to be very much an appreciated teammate. I think I know what he was getting at, but when you boil down what he was actually suggesting, it doesn't make much sense.

    Sure 'Gody isn't the same guy as Scals but will almost definitely be treated the same way, unless he really, really sucks (because I'm in the camp that thought Scals actually made some big contributions, and they were overappreciated, but it was still honest appreciation), but is that really a problem, either? It doesn't seem wholly different from people cheering for J. Lin. Why does this issue need to be infused with even a drop of controversy or analysis? Fans cheer, it's what they do. I don't think there need to be over sensitive rules laid on who they can root for.

  • brittdasheet

    RyAn DeGama

  • Wes

    Wow, that was just fun to read. Good info, too. Thanks

  • Jamie

    Great write up. I live in VA so I catch the Wizards probably 20 times a year for parts of games. Depends on who they are playing usually. But I can tell you from watching them the last 2 years they are one of the dumbest teams I have ever seen. Nick Young couldn't spell defense much less play it. Arenas belongs in a YMCA league as a gunner, he is also a below average defender.

    How their GM keeps his job is beyond me. That roster is poorly built with undersized power forwards and wing jump shooters. McGee has a ton of athletic talent but his basketball IQ is very poor and he has no skills with the ball in his hands. He's a dunker and that's it.

  • chris

    McCoy McLemore
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/mcl

    Awesome write-up, too!

    • hdavenport

      Very, very nice get. That's all there is, I think.

  • http://www.johnnyasshole.blogspot.com Johnny Asshole

    We focus on the stupidity of the wizards, but to me, most of the NBA is young and dumb. That's why the Boston Senior Citizens always have a chance for the title every year. There is no reason why fossils like Paul Pierce shouldn't be exposed every game. The league has lost a lot of skill, and that clip you just posted looks like a high school game. You wouldn't even see that crap in college. It's not the players fault though. League has basically outlawed defense so who needs to know how to dribble or pass.

  • roundo

    im loving celtics hub thius season, go Cs!

  • koolaid

    JaVale McGee… definitely the most terrible/awesome player in the league!!!!!

  • I_Love_Green

    Great read Hayes. Everyone has been in the zone lately writing these fantastic articles.

    P.S. this is your grandma encouraging you.

  • http://www.zardsalards.blogspot.com ZardsALards!

    Dear Mr. Hayes Davenport and various mean Celtics fans,

    This article was very mean. I hope that the Wiz Kidz have not read it, as it would be very damaging to their fragile confidence. In case they do read it, a brief, impassioned, competely rational defense:

    The Zards are not the Celtics, a boring, uberprofessional, championshipproducing machine fueled by the tears of the young and joyful. No! They are a fast, sloppy, ecstatic team who on Wednesday night was missing their primary engine of chaos, John Wall. Also, it was a back to back, and everyone knows that NBA teams hate back to backs almost as much as Glen Davis presumably hates the person who took this picture http://www.hoopsmanifesto.com/images/stories/glen

    In conclusion (see? brief), the Celtics haven't always looked down on the league from such a lofty perch. Just four seasons ago you were the worst team in all the Eastern Conference. Now you're the finest basketball organization west of the Mississippi. And you have to root for Kevin Garnett. No thanks

  • hdavenport

    Your defense is about as rational as your favorite team's, BUD.

    -The 2010-2011 Celtics are the craziest team in basketball history. The depth of their craziness up and down their roster has never been surpassed. Not professional, not boring. You're confusing professionalism for interest in defense.
    -Boston is one thousand miles east of the Mississippi River.

    But your blog is funny and you should post to it more often!

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