During the final minutes of last night's loss to the Hornets, I got the always bizarre feeling of deja vu. I'd been here before. We'd been here before. It just seemed to me that the Celtics, despite a solid 13-7 record at the Garden - we're on the wrong side of far too many blowout losses at home.
So I did a little research, and found that the Celtics have already been dealt five double digit losses in just 20 home games. In other words, 25% of the time. I went back and compared that to the rest of the Celtics teams of the 'KG era' (since 2007-08). Here's what I found.
In 2007-08 the Celtics lost 2 home games by double digits. They played 55 games at the Garden including playoffs - 3.6% HBP (Home blowout %)
The 2008-09 team also lost 2 home games by double digits. They played 49 games at the Garden including playoffs - 4.1% HBP
The worst group of the bunch was the 2009-10 team that lost 8 home games by double digits. They played 53 games at the Garden thanks to their Finals run - 15.1% HBP
2010-11 the Celtics incredibly did not lose a home game by double digits. They played 45 games at the Garden including playoffs - 0% HBP
The 2011-12 C's, despite being a below .500 team for much of the season, lost only 3 home games by double digits. They played 43 games at the Garden including playoffs (remember the regular season was only 66 games because of the lockout) - 7.0% HBP
Adding the five seasons up, the 'KG era' Celtics lost by 10+ just 15 times in 245 tries at home - 6.1% HBP
Obviously this study isn't perfect because not all double digit losses are created equal. You could be within 5 points with a minute left but lose by 11 because of free throws. On the flip side, you could be down 16-20 the entire second half before cutting it to 8 during garbage time. So while the numbers may not be perfect, I do believe they come close to balancing out in the end.
So what does this all mean? Well normally, good teams do not get blown out much at all, never less at home. But this Celtics team hasn't always followed the normal rules for good teams. Case in point - the 2009-10 team. Eight home losses by double digits, yet they turned it around in time to get within a few minutes of an NBA title.
On the flip side the 2010-11 team didn't get blown out a single time in front of their home fans, yet the Heat dispatched them in a relatively easy five games.
In my opinion some of this has to do with this year's Celtics team still feeling one another out. Some night's it comes together beautifully, but when it doesn't - sheesh. Nine new guys who have been spotty with defensive rotations and assignments opens the door for some ugly final scores.
With just over half of the home schedule ahead of them, there's still time for the Celtics to improve upon this mark. But in the meantime it's more than a little concerning to see the Hornets and Bucks of the world walk all over the C's at the Garden.
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Michael Dyer 1/17/2013 05:08:00 PM Tweet Edit