Tuesday, January 15, 2008

C's Lose 3 because of Low O

"As much as we preach defense, offensively I think we've hit a little snag."
Celtics guard Ray Allen, regarding 3 recent loses.

The Celtics have surprisingly lost 3 of the last 4 to Eastern Conference teams. Teams that are missing their biggest scorer (the Wizard's Gilbert Arenas) and a still developing expansion team (Charlotte Bobcats). Is Ray Allen right? If their offense the source of their woes?

Well, first off, they lost all of those games by an average of about 8 points per game (duh, they would average less points than their opponents.) Let's look closer at some offensive stats:

Category PTS FGA FG% 3P% FT FT% AST
BC Season vs 3 Losses 16.9 5.1 5.3% 10% 3.6 1% 2.9

The table above shows the difference between the C's season average compared to their loses. In their losing games:
  • Of course they are scoring less, but they are getting about 5 less shots a game
  • 5 percent dip in FG%
  • 10 percent dip in 3p%
  • 3 assists less a game
These definitely contribute to the 17 point deficit in their loses when compared to their season average output. Also of note, during the C's recent loses:
  • their opponents are also averaging two more offensive rebounds a game
  • C's are nabbing 6 less defensive rebounds in these loses.
  • Their opponents are also shooting 5 percent better from the field than the season opponent average.

Looks like it's time for a midseason re-calibration of offense and defense! This should just be a reminder to the team that they are still human, and they'll probably rattle off another extended period of high winning percentage b-ball.

PS - I got the raw stats from www.basketball-reference.com. I worked 'em in excel to get these numbers, but its a great site with lots of good stats nonetheless.

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