## C’s v Bucks by the numbers – a 7-game dead heat?

Through seven tough games, 341 minutes of play and 1,306 possessions, Brad Stevens’s Boston Celtics and Joe Prunty’s Milwaukee Bucks provided us a photo finish – at least when it comes to the numbers.

The Midwesterners shot more accurately, connecting on 15 more FG’s … but Brad’s boys fought their way to the free-throw line 75 times, exactly 15 times more often than the Bucks.

Consequently, each team earned 334 conversions in its 653 scoring opportunities.

Boston’s dominance of the Offensive glass (98 – 49 in second-chances, good for a 110 – 48 edge on the scoreboard) was the difference-maker.

Summative Series Equation:

Bos – 334 Conversions + [+29 “Stripes”] {71 treys “minus” 42 missed FT’s “equals” 8 stripes}
Mil – 334 Conversions + [+26 “Stripes”] {67 treys “minus” 41 missed FT’s “equals” 3 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- 0 Conversions + [+3 Stripes] = C’s win by 3 points
Actual Score: Boston 717, Milwaukee 713

The Algebra of the Series

Pts: C’s – 717 / Mil – 713
FG: C’s – 259 - 585, .443 / Mil – 274 - 548, .500
3FG: C’s – 71 - 203, .350 / Mil – 67 - 180, .372
FT: C’s – 128 - 170, .753 [75] / Mil – 98 - 139, .705 [60]
TO: C’s – 90 / Mil – 93
OR: C’s – 75 + 23 (team) / Mil – 39 + 10 (team)
Poss: C’s – 653 / Mil – 653
CV%: C’s – 334 / 653, .511 / Mil – 334 / 653, .511

Note re Calculations:
The number of “possessions” is an accurate count, not a formula-based estimated value.

For purposes of clarity, the bracketed digit following the FT% is the exact count of “conversions” represented by those FTA’s.

“Possessions” calculation: FGA’s + FT conversions + TO’s – OR’s (including Team OR’s)

“Conversions” calculation: FG’s + FT conversions

Here’s the breakdown on the basis of locale.

Home Wins
Pts: C’s – 437 / Mil – 396
FG: C’s – 161 - 337, .478 / Mil – 153 - 321, .477
3FG: C’s – 43 - 114, .377 / Mil – 33 - 98, .337
FT: C’s – 72 - 98, .735 [44] / Mil – 57 - 79, .722 [33]
TO: C’s – 54 / Mil – 63
OR: C’s – 36 + 15 (team) / Mil – 23 + 8 (team)
Poss: C’s – 385 / Mil – 386
CV%: C’s – 205 / 385, .532 / Mil – 186 / 386, .482

Pts: C’s – 280 / Mil – 317
FG: C’s – 98 - 248, .395 / Mil – 121 - 227, .533
3FG: C’s – 28 - 89, .315 / Mil – 34 - 82, .415
FT: C’s – 56 - 72, .778 [31] / Mil – 41 - 60, .683 [27]
TO: C’s – 36 / Mil – 30
OR: C’s – 39 + 8 (team) / Mil – 16 + 2 (team)
Poss: C’s – 268 / Mil – 267
CV%: C’s – 129 / 268, .481 / Mil – 148 / 267, .554

Against the Bucks, the C’s enjoyed a slight 110 – 96 (a mere two points per game) advantage in points scored on the possession following a turnover.

Since about Thanksgiving, Coach Brett Brown’s spunky Sixers have been dead last in the NBA when it comes to taking care of the ball. On top of that, they were able to work their way out of the Bottom Ten in forcing turnovers during the season’s closing weeks (finishing No. 18).

A key to the outcome of the upcoming Celtic-Sixer rivalry renewer might well be how proficiently the Celtics can cash in on Philly miscues.

images: AP, Philly.com

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