The Celtics blew out the Wizards in TD Garden on Black Friday, handily winning every quarter with stifling D and solid O. Here are details on the game, and where the club stands now...
Cs' Off. & Def. Efficiency Ratings vs. Washington – Nov 27 2015:–––––––––––––––
Cs’ Offensive Rating for this game = 112.3 (pts scored per 100 possessions) — equivalent to the #2 offense in the NBA this season.
- Prior to this game, WASH's defense was rated #22 in the league (DefRtg = 106.9) — not very good. Versus the Cs, WASH played like the #29 defense in the league. The Wiz were overwhelmed.
Cs’ Defensive Rating for this game = 78.9 (pts allowed per 100 possessions) — equivalent to the league's #1 defense this season by far. The Celtics were very active on D, generating 22 turnovers, with 11 steals.
- Coming into this game, the Wizards' offense was rated #20 in the league (102.8 Off.Rtg.). The Cs made them play like the worst O in the league (#30). Welp — that's what an elite defense is supposed to do.
Pace: Each team had 99 possessions – equal to the Cs' average for the season (#5 in NBA). League average = 96.5.
Refs: Grade: A-. Observations: There was only 1 very bad call noted. Otherwise, the officiating was good, with a pleasantly low total number of fouls called.
- At 6:13 of the 1st quarter, referee Brian Forte (45) whistled a foul on Bradley after he squeezed through a pick (set by Dudley) to cover his man, Bradley Beal. Bad call. Not only did Avery not foul anyone, Beal actually pushed AB with his off (left) arm. Just bad eyesight/judgment by Forte on this one call. Note: We don't call it "egregious," because at least there was some contact.
- This is the THIRD time in a row we've seen good, A-level officiating. Historically, that's exceptional. (Ya think they know we're tracking them? :))
Where do the Cs stand now?–––––––––––––––
- Celts' pre-game Defensive Rating was 99.2 (pts allowed/100-possessions) — #5 in the NBA.
- After the Wizards game, the Cs' Defensive Rating = 98.0 — #4 in the league (as of 11/27) — and within 0.1 of #2 (as close as possible). So the defense came right back to elite status, as expected — even after two very bad games (BKN, ATL).
- [The Spurs have the league's best Def.Rtg. right now @ 95.7, while the Bucks' D is at the bottom @ 112.9. League average = 104.0.]
- After the Wizards game, the Cs' Offensive Rating = 103.6 (pts/100-possessions) — #15 in the league (as of 11/27). [Pre-game it was 103.1: #19.]
- Last week, the offense briefly pushed into the league's Top-10 area. If the defense can remain at an elite level, feeding the offense, the Cs should get there again pretty soon.
- [Golden State leads the league in Off.Rtg. @ 114.4; PHI is at the bottom with 92.3. League average = 104.0.]
HOW ARE THEY DOING OVERALL, AND WHAT'S THE TREND?
- After this game, Cs' Net Rating = +5.7, #6 in the NBA (as of 11/27) — up from +3.9 (#9).
- [Stat Note: Net Rating (aka "Net Efficiency Rating") is a measure of how many more (or fewer) points the Cs scored than their opponents, per 100 possessions (thus eliminating any effect of pace). It's derived by subtracting the Defensive Rating ("DefRtg") from the Offensive Rating ("OffRtg").]
- The numbers say that the defense is doing fine, and the offense may be turning back up again. The Cs in general are inching toward elite territory: #2 on D, #15 on O, #6 overall. The key component that needs to improve is the offense.
- The general direction of the OARs (Opponent-Adjusted Ratings) is positive, indicating that the Cs are, on average, beating expectations (based on opponents' strengths). After three statistically negative data points (two of which, BKN and ATL, were extremely negative), these predictive stats are clearly up now, thanks to the Wiz. But the Celtics will have to put together a string of good games to solidify their overall statistical direction.
- Sully stood out in this one, with 18 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots. Isaiah scored 21 pts and added 2 steals, Crowder went 3-5 from distance, 4-8 overall (and got 1 steal that didn't make it into the record*), and Bradley got 16 pts + 3 steals.
- WASH's 22 turnovers extends the Celtics' league-leading defensive turnover rate: 19.5 TO/game, 17.36 TOV% (opponent turnover percentage - per possession). Oh, and btw: Cs also lead the league in steals with 11.3 steals/game, and 11.4% STL% (percentage of opponent possessions that end in steal). Their elite D is for real.
- Crowder has lately dropped a bit in steals per minutes played. He's currently #3 in the league (among qualified players), with 2.73 steals per 36 minutes. (*He had 1 steal in the Wiz game, at ~11:26 of the 3rd quarter, but it wasn't officially counted because after stealing the ball from Porter, Jae's arm was hit by Dudley which caused the ball to go out of bounds. The call by the ref was 'out of bounds, Celtics ball' — which was correct, but the steal was lost in the shuffle, presumably because Jae never established possession before the ball went out of bounds. But it was a steal, no doubt about it.)
- Cs grabbed 19 offensive rebounds in this contest. Did you know that Boston is #6 in the NBA in offensive rebounding? Cs have snatched 27% of available offensive rebounds — which is less than 1% away from the league's 3rd best offensive rebounding team, Utah. (League leader is OKC, with 30.3%.)
- Suggestion to Evan Turner: You're hitting your 3-point shots at a sizzling 14.3% clip. You might wanna stop that.
- Whatever ailed this team over the past 3 games or so seems to have passed. This is a young team, and maybe they needed to learn how to get past temporary setbacks — and just approach each game as a new opportunity to show how good they can be.
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–––––––––––––––––––––––––Efficiency ratings source for comps: Basketball-reference.com. Misc: RealGM.com
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Photo: Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
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