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Gripe if you must about his salary, but Al Horford showed up at the TD Garden for Saturday night’s Game 7 with the Bucks hungry. And he didn’t bother bringing his lunch pail, he was ordering ala carte – obviously, he chose the venison.

His appetizer was served on Milwaukee’s seventh possession of the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s first foray to the rim and third FGA. The Freak drove from the right and rose for a lay-up, Big Al shadowing his every step and rising himself with both hands aloft.

As Giannis unraveled his right arm to shoot, AH said, “No, no, Gadget!” while swatting the ball off the backboard – with his left hand, mind you – and igniting a Jayson Tatum breakout and two FT’s.

A tone was set – Al’s dinner would soon be “done to a turn!”

And the Buck’s stud would soon be swatting balls into the wrong goal.


Summative Equation:

Bos – 53 Conversions + [+1 “Stripe”] {9 treys “minus” 8 missed FT’s “equals” 1 stripe}
Mil – 43 Conversions + [+8 “Stripes”] {9 treys “minus” 1 missed FT’s “equals” 8 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- +10 Conversion + [-7 Stripes] = C’s win by 13 points
Actual Score: Boston 112, Milwaukee 96


The Algebra of the Game

1st Quarter
FG: C’s – 11 - 19, .579 / Mil – 7 - 20, .350
3FG: C’s – 0 - 3, .000 / Mil – 1 - 7, .143
FT: C’s – 8 - 11, .727 [4] / Mil – 2 - 2, 1.000 [1]
TO: C’s – 3 / Mil – 4
OR: C’s – 2 + 0 (team) / Mil – 2 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 24 / Mil – 23
CV%: C’s – 15 / 24, .625 / Mil – 8 / 23, .348


The C’s attempted just three treys while connecting on over two-thirds of their deuces in Q1. (For the game, Boston shot their 2FG’s at just over 60%.)


2nd Quarter
FG: C’s – 9 - 25, .360 / Mil – 9 - 17, .521
3FG: C’s – 1 - 9, .111 / Mil – 2 - 4, .500
FT: C’s – 1 - 3, .333 [1] / Mil – 5 - 6, .833 [3]
TO: C’s – 3 / Mil – 4
OR: C’s – 4 + 1 (team) / Mil – 0 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 24 / Mil – 24
CV%: C’s – 10 / 24, .417 / Mil – 12 / 24, .500


While he was struggling with his shooting (1 – 5 from the field, 0 – 2 on FT’s), Jaylen Brown was putting out some stout, in-your-face defense, utterly frustrating both Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker in a stretch of four possessions.

Poor Jabari was on the receiving end of a rather stiff Marcus Smart personal shortly thereafter.


3rd Quarter
FG: C’s – 13 - 18, .722 / Mil – 10 - 19, .526
3FG: C’s – 4 - 5, .800 / Mil – 1 - 5, .200
FT: C’s – 1 - 3, .333 [1] / Mil – 4 - 4, 1.000 [2]
TO: C’s – 5 / Mil – 2
OR: C’s – 1 + 0 (team) / Mil – 0 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 23 / Mil – 23
CV%: C’s – 14 / 23, .609 / Mil – 12 / 23, .522


It seemed as if Coach Stevens’s halftime advice was to beat ‘em up inside. During the pre-game show, Kenny Smith had recalled Houston Rocket coach Rudy Tomjanovich demanding that Olajuwon get early touches on the block; KC Jones had similar requirements for the Chief.

The C’s veteran post attempted five of Boston’s first nine shots in Q3 – connected on every one. The accurate post shooting was contagious, as Aron Baynes missed but one of his five attempts on the night and even found bottom with one of his odd-looking hooks early in Q4.

The body-punching of the paint pounding opened up the three-game, Morris and Tatum delivering back-to-back daggers in Q3’s closing stages.


4th Quarter
FG: C’s – 12 - 22, .545 / Mil – 9 - 18, .500
3FG: C’s – 4 - 9, .444 / Mil – 5 - 11, .455
FT: C’s – 3 - 4, .750 [2] / Mil – 6 - 6, 1.000 [2]
TO: C’s – 4 / Mil – 6
OR: C’s – 4 + 1 (team) / Mil – 2 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 23 / Mil – 23
CV%: C’s – 15 / 23, .652 / Mil – 11 / 23, .478


A couple of shaky possessions induced a Brad Stevens Time-out about five minutes in.

The re-insertion of Horford sparked a two-minute, 12 – 5 run, capped off by back-to-back Terry Rozier three-balls, that gave the Celtics more than enough points to claim victory.


Full Game
FG: C’s – 45 - 84, .536 / Mil – 35 - 74, .473
3FG: C’s – 9 - 26, .346 / Mil – 9 - 27, .333
FT: C’s – 13 - 21, .619 [8] / Mil – 17 - 18, .944 [8]
TO: C’s – 15 / Mil – 16
OR: C’s – 11 + 2 (team) / Mil – 4 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 94 / Mil – 93
CV%: C’s – 53 / 94, .564 / Mil – 43 / 93, .462


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


Abacus Revelation for the Road

For the series, by my count, the C’s more than doubled Milwaukee’s output in Follow-Up points – the final tally was 110 – 48.

Boston had exactly twice as many (98 – 49) second-chance opportunities.


images: AP, Getty

Abacus Reveals 4/29/2018 04:48:00 PM Edit
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