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I'm a big stats guy. So when I saw that CBSSports.com's Matt Moore evaluated the NBA standings and schedules by plotting each teams' win percentage vs. teams at or above .500, and against teams below .500, I was instantly drawn to it:



As you can see, the Celtics are right around the middle axis, suggesting that they are a peculiar combination of each category. They slightly fall in the right upper-hand quadrant, which I find very surprising. Upper-right means you beat good and bad teams, but Boston has struggled against great teams this year, as examined in a past post. They are 0-6 against squads that qualify as upper-tier.

Anyway, does being the closest team to the middle of the chart even mean that they are unpredictable? One could argue that losing to bad teams and beating good teams (those in the bottom-right quadrant) would be more unpredictable. In fact, Moore himself noted what it means to be in each quadrant:

You want to be in the right upper-hand quadrant, obviously. You want to avoid the lower-left quadrant, obviously. What's interesting is that you want to be in the upper-left hand quadrant way more than you want to be in the bottom right. If you lose to good teams and beat bad teams, you're consistent, and building on success. If you're losing to bad teams and beating good teams, you're inconsistent. You can't predict what side you're going to come out on, and you have to have games you can reliably win. Every game can't be a coin flip.

At the same time, Moore acknowledged that the Celtics have been a mix of everything this year, also hinting at unpredictability:

Check out the Celtics -- dead center in the middle. That makes a world of sense, since they've combined a little bit of every quadrant so far.

Although I often find myself frustrated over surprising game results, I personally don't think the C's are that unpredictable. The Pelicans, Wizards, and Nuggets have been their only losses to sub-500 teams. However, Boston has only beaten five teams who are .500 or better (out of 13 tries). Because of this, I thought the Celtics would fall in the upper-left quadrant, classifying them as a team that mostly beats bad teams and mostly lose to good ones. Under this logic, that would mean that they aren't too unpredictable.


What do you think? Have the Celtics been unpredictable this year?


Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo by Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Erik Johnson 12/13/2016 02:24:00 PM Edit
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