Blog Entry

Celtics Weekly: Positive Spin on recent 2-5

Posted on: January 7, 2009 1:30 pm

I know, I know. Since breaking the longest franchise winning streak the Celtics are only 2 up and a stunning 5 down. However, I am here to offer all of the Boston fans, who I know are beside themselves right now, a little positive food for thought. Here are a few reasons why there shouldn't be Basketball panic in Bean Town:

1) 29-7 is an amazing record. If you were asked before the season if you would be happy with the Celtics winning 29 of their first 36 games, I'm sure every one of you would say "yes!". When you're the defending champs, everyone comes out gunning for you, and to tell you the truth, I'm surprised the Celts didn't go on a losing streak long before this.

2) The other top teams are sliding as well. Although not on as grand a scale, the Cavs and Magic, who are the C's top competitors in the East, have hit their own rough patches. Orlando has lost 2 of their last 5 (Detroit, Toronto) and the Cavs have dropped 2 of 3, one of those loses coming at the hands of the lowly Washington Wizards who the Celtics spanked a week ago by 25. This just goes to show that good teams can lose.

3) There is only one thing consistantly going wrong for Boston: 3-point offense and defense. Over the last 5 games the Celtics have been at or around their season averages in rebounds, assists, steals, points in the paint, turnovers, and pretty much everyone other offensive and defensive stat except for 3-point percentage. Compare these stats to their season averages of 36.3% (offensive) and 32.9 (defensive):

1/28 @ Sacramento: Celtics 6-18 (33%), Kings 4-18 (22%) WIN

12/30 @ Portland: Celtics 3-14 (21%), Trail Blazers 6-15 (40%) LOSS

1/2 vs. Washington: Celtics 12-20 (60%), Wizards 2-12 (16%) WIN

1/4 @ New York: Celtics 6-25 (23%), Knicks 9-22 (40%) LOSS

1/6 @ Charlotte: Celtics 6-23 (26%), Bobcats 7-16 (43%) LOSS

When 3-point field goal percentage is down, look no further than Ray Allen, who is shooting well below is season average during the last two weeks. The C's struggled when Allen slumped last season as well, but one of the NBA's all-time best shooters will turn it around, and so will Boston. The three-point defense is also a product of Allen's shooting woes because when the C's don't hit shots, their opponents get leads, and when you have leads you can wait for the open shot more patiently and find guys that are open behind the arc. The most important thing is, when you only have one thing that is broken, your team is not hard to fix.


Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2009 11:48 pm

Celtics Weekly: Positive Spin on recent 2-5


1/7 vs. Houston: Celtics shoot 39% from 3-point range, Rockets shoot 47% from behind the arc...Celtic LOSS

Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2009 1:39 pm

Celtics Weekly: Positive Spin on recent 2-5

Good stuff here, especially about the three point situation. One other result of poor 3-point shooting is the long rebounds that result from the misses. Its virtually impossible for the offensive team to gather up these long 'bounds and this creates much easier fast break opportunities for the opponents. The Celts have been beaten on the fast break much more frequently during this down-spell and a lot of that can be attributed to the poor 3-point shooting.

I'm not ready to jump off the Tobin Bridge yet. I still like their chances for an 18th ring as much as any of the other teams out there. I would much rather them work their way out of a tough spell now than in the playoffs.

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2009 1:36 pm

Celtics Weekly: Positive Spin on recent 2-5

Ps. The Rockets, who the Celtics play tonighti, are 1st in the NBA in 3-point defense and 11th in 3-point offense...not exactly what the Celtics wanted to see right now.

However, if they C's can get back on track tonight against the Rockets, then you can assume they can do it against anyone.

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