# The Algebra of the Game: C’s win over Hawks in – Ho-hum! – another stirring comeback

The locker-room lecture from Coach Brad Stevens last night in Atlanta could have concerned only one thing – TURNOVERS. The C’s had managed to kick the ball away on exactly half of their final twelve first-half possessions, posting an even dozen TO’s in 24 minutes of play.

Their butterfingers negated a strong Q2 effort by Boston in which they allowed Atlanta to convert under a third of their chances to score. But since the C’s non-D had allowed conversions on two-thirds of the Hawks’ 24 Q1 possessions, they were facing their displeased mentor in a six-point hole, 50-44.

Summative Equation:
Bos – 46 Conversions + [12 “Stripes”] {16 treys “minus” 4 missed FT’s “equals” 12 stripes}
Atl – 45 Conversions + [5 “Stripes”] {9 treys “minus” 4 missed FT’s “equals” 5 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- +1 Conversion + [7 Stripes] = C’s win by 9 points
Actual Score: Boston 110, Atlanta 99

Both squads emerged from halftime charged up, converting four of their first five opportunities. But an early Boston TO would be their lone Q3 mishap, and soon they were draining seven of eight shots (three from behind the arc) and taking their first lead of the evening.

But a determined bunch of Hawks recaptured the lead in Q4’s opening minute or so, grabbing half their six overall offensive rebounds and scoring half their eight overall “follow-up” points in the first three possessions.

Summative Equation (Season-to-date):
Bos – 794 Conversions + [+94 “Stripes”] {184 treys “minus” 90 missed FT’s “equals” 94 stripes}
Opp – 744 Conversions + [+55 “Stripes”] {145 treys “minus” 90 missed FT’s “equals” 55 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- +50 Conversions + [+39 Stripes] = C’s win by (100 + 39) 139 points
Actual Score: Boston 1742, Opponents 1605

The Celtics put the game away during a four-and-a-half minute, eight-possession stretch when the Atlanta defense just couldn’t buy a stop. That 18-9 spurt was the difference in the ballgame.

The Hawks’ 16 conversions in the first quarter matches the high that the C’s have yielded in any session of play – Charlotte and the Lakers equaling the feat. (The C’s had 16 Q4 conversions in their easy victory over the Knicks in Week 2.)

The Algebra of the Game

1st Quarter
FG: C’s – 8-17, .471 / Atl – 11-17, .647
3FG: C’s – 3-7, .429 / Atl – 4-7, .571
FT: C’s – 1-5, .200 [2] / Atl – 9-11, .818 [5]
TO: C’s – 5 / Atl – 3
OR: C’s – 0 + 1 (team) / Atl – 0 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 23 / Atl – 24
CV%: C’s – 10 / 23, .435 / Atl – 16 / 24, .667

2nd Quarter
FG: C’s – 8-20, .400 / Atl – 7-21, .333
3FG: C’s – 5-11, .455 / Atl – 1-6, .167
FT: C’s – 3-3, 1.000 [0] / Atl – 0-0, .000 [0]
TO: C’s – 7 / Atl – 3
OR: C’s – 4 + 0 (team) / Atl – 0 + 2 (team)
Poss: C’s – 25 / Atl – 22
CV%: C’s – 11 / 25, .440 / Atl – 7 / 22, .318

3rd Quarter
FG: C’s – 13-25, .520 / Atl – 11-21, .524
3FG: C’s – 5-7, .714 / Atl – 4-6, .667
FT: C’s – 5-5, 1.000 [2] / Atl – 1-2, .500 [0]
TO: C’s – 1 / Atl – 4
OR: C’s – 2 + 2 (team) / Atl – 2 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 24 / Atl – 23
CV%: C’s – 15 / 24, .625 / Atl – 11 / 23, .478

4th Quarter
FG: C’s – 10-20, .500 / Atl – 8-19, .421
3FG: C’s – 3-8, .375 / Atl – 0-4, .000
FT: C’s – 7-7, 1.000 [3] / Atl – 6-7, .857 [3]
TO: C’s – 2 / Atl – 4
OR: C’s – 3 + 0 (team) / Atl – 4 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 22 / Atl – 22
CV%: C’s – 13 / 22, .591 / Atl – 11 / 22, .500

Full Game
FG: C’s – 39-82, .476 / Atl – 37-78, .474
3FG: C’s – 16-34, .471 / Atl – 9-24, .375
FT: C’s – 16-20, .800 [7] / Atl – 16-20, .800 [8]
TO: C’s – 15 / Atl – 14
OR: C’s – 9 + 3 (team) / Atl – 6 + 3 (team)
Poss: C’s – 92 / Atl – 91
CV%: C’s – 46 / 92, .500 / Atl – 45 / 91, .495

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