On June 23rd, 2011, Brian Robb and I stood around a high top bar table in Tommy Doyle’s in Kendall Square. Before us lay one of the biggest mounds of buffalo chicken wings I had ever endeavor to make disappear. These 25 cent flappers- one of the few indulgences afforded to the participants of our [...]
There are a number of contextually-appropriate ways to craft this post. One would be to forgo words entirely, and represent Chris Wilcox’s entire season with a series of videos. That would involve one part of this: For every eight parts of this: Note the headline on that second clip. Someone was so amused/enraged by Wilcox’s [...]
Here’s a sweeping general statement involving super specific statistics that may or may not mean anything: In the 1423 minutes Rajon Rondo played this season, the Boston Celtics were outscored by 1.3 points per 100 possessions. When he sat (including all contests after he tore his ACL), Boston was better than their opponents by 1.8 [...]
Avery Bradley has been a standout defender for the past couple seasons…in the regular season anyway. Now he has a trophy to prove it. The NBA announced this afternoon that the third-year guard has been elected by coaches around the league to the second-team all-NBA defensive team for the first time in his career. Bradley [...]
The first domino to fall this offseason is Paul Pierce’s contract. Until Danny Ainge figures out what he’s doing there, little else matters. As we wait for this decision, we also must face the rest of the offseason, which means it is also rumor season. With that time of year, comes plenty of information floating [...]
In his third year in the league, in which promising players often make brash leaps from benchwarmer to starter, from starter to star, Avery Bradley took a big step back. But his regression might be deceptive. When he returned to the Celtics’ lineup on January the 2nd after two in-season months recovering from offseason shoulder [...]
Let’s start the analysis with this: Oh hell yeah. Raps coach Jay Triano is upset that Pierce’s mean face/tough guy reaction isn’t “sportsmanlike,” and of course he’s right. But every single NBA star reacts this way when they dunk on someone. This is actualy fairly mild compared to some other reactions I’ve seen, and it only looks worse because Bosh was hurt by the ol’ knee to the groin. But I don’t think Pierce knew that immediately.
In any case, here are the efficiency numbers from last night’s game:
Pace: 91 possessions (slow)
Offensive Efficiency: 127.4 points/100 possessions (well beyond league best)
The way they allowed the Canadians unfettered access to the lane and the hoop most of last evening, it’s a wonder our folding money doesn’t have pictures of the queen and waterfowl. In fact, go check your wallet just to be sure.
At this point, even home games against inferior teams are challenging because the Celtics are so inconsistent.
The problem with this sort of analysis is that it ignores the fact that the Toronto Raptors are a really good offensive team. The Sixers tossing up 110 points in Boston on Wednesday is a far more problematic thing than giving up 113.1 points per 100 possessions to a Raptors team averaging 113.1 points per 100 possessions—the 3rd-best mark in the league, behind only Phoenix and Denver.
It’s worth remembering that the C’s are still #2 in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing 99.8 points per 100 possessions. Is that mark a bit inflated (or, I suppose, deflated) because of the fact that the C’s have already played the six worst offensive teams in the league? Maybe. But they’ve also played #1, #3 and six of the top 12 in offensive efficiency.
Point being: Give the Raps a little credit. The C’s defense has been inconsistent, and the team isn’t playing with the same destructive fury this season that it played with during the 27-2 start last season. The best thing to do is just accept it. It makes for a more interesting ride.
Also “interesting”: Sheed’s needless post-game rant.
One of the nice things about having Sheed around is that he’s an interesting quote and a guy who seems to enjoy having smart discussions about basketball. I just wish he wouldn’t say things like this (about his collision with Hedo Turkoglu that resulted in him getting a technical last night):
“I didn’t use no profanity, I just said, ‘He’s a flopper,’ ’’ Wallace said after Boston’s 116-113 victory at TD Garden. “And [Malloy] gave me a tech for that. The league should make that a rule – flopping.
“It’s not like I threw my shoulder into him, or it was a hard push, or real hard contact. Come on, now. Showing on a pick, I’m already there, he touches me – ‘Ohh,’ he acts like I shot him or something. ‘Ohh.’ That’s not basketball, man, that’s not defense, that’s garbage, that’s what it is.’’
And even worse—his comments about the technical on Pierce (via the Globe):
“They set rules on us to the point where you’re taunting. When Paul dunked it and then, Paul didn’t say nothing, he just looked at him. Let The Golden Child do that or one of the NBA [Basketball] Without Borders kids do that and it’s all fine and dandy.’’
Let the record show that Wallace is (sort of) right about the Pierce technical, though I think he’s wrong about singling out LeBron or even saying the Pierce techincal is unjustified. He’s right that stars—and non-stars—get away with similar mean face/flexing/standing-over-a-prone-guy taunts all the time. He’s right that what Pierce did would often not result in a technical. But this isn’t a case of there being one standard for LBJ and another for the rest of the league. It’s a case of inconsistent officiating and human judgment.
As for the whole “the international guys flop” notion (which I think is what Sheed is hinting at in his “NBA Without Borders” comment), I wish he wouldn’t have said it. Sure, some of the most high-profile floppers have been international guys (Ginobili, Varejao, Divac), but American-born guys flop, too, and comments like Sheed’s ignore the contributions international players have made to the NBA by reducing them all to floppers.
They also amount to tossing another log on the already-huge inferno of mutual hatred burning between Sheed and the refs. Don’t wonder why you get T’d up so often, big fella.
Oh—Sheed’s probably still bitter about the 2005 Finals. Remember this classic clip?