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During the regular season, Brett Brown’s Philadelphia 76ers misfired on 5.65 free throw attempts per game, “earning” a No. 25 ranking in the league. They managed that volume of misses despite having 2.85 fewer tries at the foul line per game than their opponents – that differential got them the No. 26 ranking.

The Celtics’ Round Two opponent is the only NBA team to have worked its way into the Bottom Ten of both these kinda contradictory categories. (Indeed, 19 teams predictably finished in the top half of one and the bottom half of the other – no one ended up in the Top Ten of both.)

While the frequency of Sixer attempts wasn’t the problem in Game 1, their inaccuracy prevented them from really challenging Boston in a game during which Philly was able to register more converted possessions.


Summative Equation:
Bos – 49 Conversions + [+16 “Stripes”] {17 treys “minus” 1 missed FT “equals” 17 stripes}
Phil – 51 Conversions + [-4 “Stripes”] {5 treys “minus” 9 missed FT’s “equals” -4 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- -2 Conversions + [+20 Stripes] = C’s win by 16 points
Actual Score: Boston 117, Philadelphia 101


The Algebra of the Game

1st Quarter
FG: C’s – 9 - 23, .542 / Phil – 8 - 25, .320
3FG: C’s – 2 - 6, .250 / Phil – 2 - 9, .222
FT: C’s – 5 - 5, .667 [2] / Phil – 4 - 5, .800 [2]
TO: C’s – 3 / Phil – 4
OR: C’s – 2 + 0 (team) / Phil – 4 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 26 / Phil – 26
CV%: C’s – 11 / 26, .423 / Phil – 10 / 26, .385


Any notions about Philadelphia replicating the poor rebounding effort of the Bucks in Round One were dashed quite quickly, particularly by Sixer forward Dario Saric, who’d battled his way to two offensive rebounds and a follow-up score within three possessions.

It probably means nothing, but the C’s lost the opening tip for the first time this post season. (They were 35 – 47 during the regular year on the inaugural scrum, in case you were curious.)


2nd Quarter
FG: C’s – 13 - 22, .591 / Phil – 9 - 21, .429
3FG: C’s – 5 - 10, .500 / Phil – 1 - 6, .167
FT: C’s – 0 - 0, .000 [0] / Phil – 4 - 6, .600 [3]
TO: C’s – 2 / Phil – 2
OR: C’s – 0 + 2 (team) / Phil – 4 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 22 / Phil – 22
CV%: C’s – 13 / 22, .591 / Phil – 12 / 22, .545


Veteran Al Horford re-entered a tie game with about seven minutes left in Q2. In the subsequent 10 – 0 Boston run, he’d score or assist on all five hoops as well as grab two defensive rebounds. He’d add another hoop and two more assists before intermission.

Al’s really been struttin’ his stuff and flaunting his versatility these past two games.


3rd Quarter
FG: C’s – 10 - 22, .454 / Phil – 10 - 18, .555
3FG: C’s – 6 - 14, .429 / Phil – 1 - 3, .333
FT: C’s – 5 - 5, 1.000 [2] / Phil – 9 - 10, .900 [4]
TO: C’s – 4 / Phil – 3
OR: C’s – 2 + 1 (team) / Phil – 0 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 25 / Phil – 24
CV%: C’s – 12 / 25, .480 / Phil – 14 / 24, .583



For all his get-in-your-face physicality, I’m beginning to think that Marcus Smart’s court vision is even more impressive. Robert Covington had gotten switched onto Terry Rozier and was trying to keep him from circling back outside along the left sideline.

Blocked from seeing Marcus at the elbow, Covington never saw the soft lob pass from Smart to Rozier that set up a time-out inducing TR trey.

Marcus put his toughness back on display in the quarter’s final minute, wrestling a Marcus Morris miss from Joel Embiid and completing a three-point play to push Boston’s lead to 17.

Minor 76er triumph – they foiled a Brad Stevens A.T.O design, forcing a TO and cashing in with a JJ Redick three.


4th Quarter
FG: C’s – 9 - 18, .500 / Phil – 8 - 19, .421
3FG: C’s – 4 - 5, .800 / Phil – 1 - 8, .125
FT: C’s – 8 - 9, .889 [4] / Phil – 9 - 14, .643 [7]
TO: C’s – 1 / Phil – 3
OR: C’s – 1 + 0 (team) / Phil – 3 + 3 (team)
Poss: C’s – 22 / Phil – 23
CV%: C’s – 13 / 22, .591 / Phil – 15 / 23, .652


Note to the men in Green: four team fouls in a Q4’s first three minutes is NOT the recommended procedure for putting away a game.


Full Game
FG: C’s – 41 - 85, .482 / Phil – 35 - 83, .422
3FG: C’s – 17 - 35, .486 / Phil – 5 - 26, .192
FT: C’s – 18 - 19, .947 [8] / Phil – 26 - 35, .743 [16]
TO: C’s – 10 / Phil – 12
OR: C’s – 5 + 3 (team) / Phil – 11 + 5 (team)
Poss: C’s – 95 / Phil – 95
CV%: C’s – 49 / 95, .516 / Phil – 51 / 95, .537

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

Speaking of the Road, the Sixer bench appeared to empty before the final buzzer. Was Smarty Pants still staring down young Mr. Simmons regarding that peck on the cheek with his elbow?


images: getty, bostonglobe.com, philly.com

Abacus Reveals 5/01/2018 07:32:00 PM Edit
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