The Boston Celtics' 114-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in London on Thursday was a wild affair. A part of the NBA Global Games series, the game swung wildly back and forth, with the Sixers jumping out to a 22-point lead in the first half only for the Celtics to come storming back and win by double digits.
One potential reason for the big swings from half to half is that a number of players say the rims was crooked.
During his latest podcast, J.J. Redick had Kyrie Irving on as a guest. We've already covered their extremely interesting discussion about conspiracy theories, but in addition to that segment, Redick also briefly brought up the game. When he did, he said he thought that one of the rims was crooked. Irving concurred, saying it was a "little bit" crooked. As transcribed by NewJersey.com:
One rim was so (expletive) crooked. (Irving: Which one?) The one you guys shot at in the first half. We shot at in the second half. (Irving: I would agree a little bit. A little bit.) I was adamant this morning that we had to figure out a way wherever the bench was, that we would shoot at that in the first half so we could have the good rim in the second half. I guess cause you guys were the bench team you got to choose. I'm going to put a little asterisk. (laughs)
Those two weren't the only ones to bring up the allegedly crooked rim, however. Jaylen Brown also mentioned it on Saturday, telling reporters that he told Celtics coaches about the rim, but they laughed him off.
Jaylen Brown echoes JJ Redick’s thoughts on one rim being slightly off in London. Said he told Celtics coaching staff and joked they didn’t listen to him. Brown noted both teams played on it so didn’t affect game.— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) January 13, 2018
With good shooters from both teams -- all three of Irving, Brown and Redick are shooting at least 39 percent from 3 this season -- noticing something was off with the rim, it's likely that they are correct. And the stats seem to back up their assertions.
In the first half, the Celtics shot 19-of-47 on the crooked rim, while the Sixers shot 23-of-41 on the normal rim. In the second half, the Sixers shot 15-of-41 on the crooked rim, and the Celtics shot 24-of-42 on the normal rim. Both teams shot a combined 34-of-88 (38 percent) on the crooked rim and 47-of-83 (56 percent) on the normal rim.
For there to be a 20 percent difference in the shooting percentages on one rim versus the other is certainly a strange result. Perhaps it was just a weird coincidence, but most likely there was something wrong with the rim as the three guards have noted.