While the Celtics' first-round sweep at the hands of the Cavaliers was not exactly shocking, it's fair to say that they could have put up more of a fight and maybe stolen one of their two home games. A look at the series stats shows that poor shooting was a big reason why Boston lost every game.

The Celtics shot 42 percent from the floor, currently fifth-worst in the postseason. Of the four teams with worse accuracy, the Raptors were also swept and the Trail Blazers and Bucks are one game away from elimination. Interestingly, the Hawks are dead last at just 39 percent. Boston shot 44.3 percent during the regular season, which ranked just 21st in the league but was still significantly better than their playoff performance.

The real trouble came from beyond the arc. The C's connected on just 25.6 percent of their threes, easily the worst in the playoffs (the Nets are the only other team below 30 percent), including a dismal 3-for-23 in game 4. Once again, this is well below their regular season accuracy of 32.7 percent, fourth-worst in the NBA. As the Globe's Gary Washburn points out, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas combined to go 11-for-50 in the series.

The one area where Boston was better in the playoffs than in the regular season was at the free-throw line, where the Celtics shot 77.5 percent, fifth-best among the 16 postseason teams, compared to 75.4 percent. Unfortunately, they hit just 64.9 percent of their free throws in the deciding game on Sunday, leaving 13 points at the line in an eight-point loss.

Boston never really had a chance to upset Cleveland, but if they had been closer to their regular season shooting averages, it's not a stretch to think that the Celtics might have avoided the sweep.

Follow Nick García on Twitter @N_A_Garcia

Image credit: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

Nick García 4/27/2015 06:37:00 PM Edit
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