Celts sloppy in Detroit, win anyway / Green Stats

Deciphering the Celtics

The Celtics may have walked away with a good-looking Defensive Rating, but their defense frequently broke down in this sloppy post-Christmas game in Detroit on Saturday night. Likewise, the offense was too-often also scattered, most notably whenever Evan Turner was on the floor. (They don't call him Evan Turnover fer nuttin.)

Oh yeah, and Jonas Jerebko saved the game for the Cs with a late bucket. It should never have come to that.

Here are details on the game, and where the club stands now...


Cs' Off. & Def. Efficiency Ratings vs. Detroit – Dec 26 2015:


Cs’ Offensive Rating for this game = 100.7 (pts scored per 100 possessions) — equivalent to the #28 offense in the NBA this season. Celtics missed a lot of bunnies and a lot of 3s in this one (again).
  • Prior to this game, DET's defense was rated #9 in the league (Def.Rtg. = 102.2) — pretty good.
  • Versus the Cs, DET's D performed like the #4 defense in the league (100.7 Def.Rtg.).
Cs’ Defensive Rating for this game = 94.6 (pts allowed per 100 possessions) — equivalent to the league's #1 (!) defense this season. Cs' D beat the Spurs' extremely stingy season Def.Rtg. for the second time in a row.
  • Coming into this game, the Pistons' offense was rated #22 in the league (Off.Rtg. = 103.6) — weak.
  • The Cs' D held DET's O to a level equivalent to the league's #29 offense (94.6 Off.Rtg.) — much worse than their season average.
Pace: Each team had 98 possessions – about equal to the Cs' season average (98.5 – #4 in NBA). League average = 95.9/game.

Referees: Grade: B. Observations: There was only 1 egregiously bad call noted — though the officiating team of John Goble (#30), Curtis Blair (#74) and Eric Dalen (#37) called too many unnecessary touch fouls on both teams to be rated very highly.
  • As often happens in the NBA, the one very bad call was a traveling violation. At ~4:29 of the 1st quarter, Eric Dalen (#37) whistled a travel call on Reggie Jackson which was dead wrong. Jackson took only 2 steps after gathering his dribble before shooting the ball normally. Perfectly legal play. These days, hardly a game goes by without at least one bad travel call. The refs can't properly see these plays. The NBA needs to acknowledge that and start allowing video review of ALL travel calls — as it is among the most-mistaken calls in the league.
  • If you're wondering about that strange-looking 3-point foul call on Isaiah Thomas at ~1:09 of the 4th quarter — it isn't listed here because it was a correct call. It was hard to see, but Isaiah's foot ended up exactly under Jackson's foot as Jackson landed after taking the long-3 jumper. Jackson stumbled backward a bit as a result — he was lucky not to sprain an ankle. Though the position of Isaiah's foot was obviously inadvertent, that is irrelevant: defenders must give their opponents room to land. (The fact that the ref saw all this in real time is remarkable. Great call.)
  • Also of note is that the refs changed their style of officiating several times in this game — from very tight early on, to letting them play in the middle of the game, and then back to very tight in the middle of the 4th. Of course, they gave no warning of these changes. This constitutes bad officiating. Referees should adopt ONE standard and stick with it for the duration of a game. Changing it mid-game confuses everyone, and is unfair to both sides. (Btw, the change in the 4th actually helped the Cs, a little.)
JJ as a Piston
Beat his old team with key 4th-quarter bucket

Where do the Celtics stand now?


After the Pistons game...
  • Current season averages: Offensive Rating = 104.15 (#17 in NBA). Defensive Rating = 99.8 (#2 in NBA). Net Rating = +4.3 (#5 in NBA).

Notes & Ruminations:

  • The Pistons scored 46 points in the paint, >49% of their total — too many. (That's mostly because of Drummond. Guy's a beast.)
  • The Cs' defensive lapses were often glaring in this one. For example: Q1: Steve Blake (not known for blazing speed) drove end-to-end with ~6 seconds left in the period for an uncontested layup; Morris waltzed down the lane for an easy 2 in mid-4th-quarter; Pistons got multiple WIDE OPEN threes with the game still in question late in the 4th; etc. Cs were lucky to walk away with the W.
  • Jonas Jerebko!
  • Evan Turner thoroughly SUCKED (again) in this game, wildly throwing the ball away multiple times (5 turnovers overall — tied with Caldwell-Pope for game high). On occasion, Evan even had a hard time bringing up the ball when pressured by Stanley Johnson. Turner did, however, do a few things right: He handed off some assists (3), scored some key points (13 on 5-11 shooting) and, most notably, didn't take any 3-point shots. (ET's season 3pt% is 14.3% now. ) (Once again — we are grateful for all favors, however small.)
  • The Knicks are next, back at TD Garden, on Sunday. Should be fun, what with Krispy Kazingis (or whateverhisnameis) & Melo and all....

Green Stats runs after Celtics games, right here, usually within ~ 1 to 20 hours of the final horn. Note: Some posts will be (much) longer than others, and some games may be skipped altogether.
Efficiency ratings source for comps: Basketball-reference.com. Misc: RealGM.com. (Note: Our formulas for pace and ratings are similar to those used by these sites, and most others. NBA.com's numbers will differ somewhat, as they use different formulas.)

For an intro to the advanced stats used here in Green Stats, see: Green Stats: Intro to advanced stats +...

Photo: J. Jerebko/jjbasketballcamp.com

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