Human tendency is often to look for the big splash, regardless of the odds.
Increasingly rare are those who exhibit contentment by navigating a life plan of steadiness, resisting the temptation of the big score for the gritty work of a collection of smaller advances.
Take this year's Celtics, for instance.
In a recent Globe article, Gary Washburn uses Saturday's loss in Milwaukee as a case study:
The Celtics were 7 for 29 from 3-point land and 29 for 57 on 2-point shots. They didn’t take enough 2-point shots.
Such a stat tempted me to research current team statistics for three point shooting. Could the Celtics be among the top in the league in attempts? And do they comparatively shoot worse than most NBA teams?
No and sort of.
The Celtics are actually 13th in the league in attempts - right in the middle of the pack at 23.3 per game, but their percentage (32.7%) is not impressive. In fact, there are only 6 teams that have less success from distance.
Comparitively, the Rockets shoot the most (33.4 attempts/35.3%) and the Wolves shoot the least (18.4 attempts/30.6%).
Interestingly, the top percentage in the league belongs to the Hawks at 39.3%, yet they are only 10th in attempts, 8 attempts per game less than the league leader!
So what motivates the Celtics to continue chucking and Coach Stevens to keep "defending" the shots?
Because of personnel and the lack of a rim-protecting center who can score in the paint, the Celtics have implemented a stretch-the-court, 3-point heavy offense that is successful when those shots are falling.
And the team seems to understand and have peace with the plan.
“We’re not really known as a physical team who takes it to the paint,” Celtics swingman Evan Turner said. “We’re know as a jump-shot team, so they [the Bucks] are going to play how they play and I think Milwaukee does a great job setting a tone to a certain extent of showing how they’re going to play. You know?"
A bit of circular logic, really. Turner states that Boston is known as a jump-shooting team. Probably wouldn't be the case if they weren't a team that shot so many jump shots.
And if Washburn is right, the main variable of the situation is a lack of suitable personnel.
And assumptions are that Ainge is working on that, however long is takes. But rest assured that Danny, a distance shooter himself, will keep chucking up bombs until one of them falls.
Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
@Chris Quimby Chris Quimby 2/10/2015 03:40:00 PM Tweet Edit