# The Algebra of the Game: Heat halt C’s streak, can’t melt their resolve

“We’ve never lost a game … time just ran out before we could catch up!!”

Though he’s not a boastful enough guy ever to say such a thing, I have little doubt that Brad Stevens has more than a little of that attitude in his approach to coaching – probably in his very bones.

Even in defeat last night – for the first time in 17 games – this never say die competitiveness was on display … on film and in the numbers.

Summative Equation:
Bos – 48 Conversions + [1 “Stripe”] {9 treys “minus” 8 missed FT’s “equals” 1 stripe}
Mia – 47 Conversions + [8 “Stripes”] {10 treys “minus” 2 missed FT’s “equals” 8 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- +1 Conversions + [-7 Stripes] = C’s lose by 5 points
Actual Score: Boston 98, Miami 104

Somebody – the players? the coaches? maybe Red from the afterlife? – decided to test that philosophy to the fullest last night. In the game’s first quarter, Boston was unable to convert consecutive possessions – the only 12-minute session all season in which they’ve earned that dubious distinction.

Other than a five-possession, 11-point run at the end of Q2, the C’s were successful on back-to-back trips down the floor only twice – and one of those four non-stops was concluded with two Kyrie Irving misses from the foul line.

The icing on this little upside-down cake was that they used eight first-half Offensive Rebounds to generate absolutely no points.

Summative Equation (Season-to-date):
Bos – 891 Conversions + [+103 Stripes] {206 treys minus 103 missed FT’s equals 103 stripes}
Opp – 838 Conversions + [+67 Stripes] {162 treys minus 95 missed FT’s equals 67 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- +53 Conversions + [+36 Stripes] = C’s win by (106 + 36) 142 points
Actual Score: Boston 1950, Opponents 1811

It appears that whatever rant Brad Stevens may have delivered during the intermission could be boiled down to five little words: GET TO THE FOUL LINE!!!

Going into last night’s game, the C’s were +76 in Free Throw attempts (+74 in makes) compared to the opposition.

 Nemesis for a Night
In Q3, Miami incurred its fourth team foul with over seven minutes left on the clock. In the final session, the Heat racked up three hacks in 86 seconds and a fourth just a minute later.

The Celtics did indeed march to the free-throw stripe for 20 second-half attempts (to Miami’s eight). Alas, missing three of their final four tries changed a potential tie game into a finally insurmountable five-point hole.

The boys went on to convert four of their next five possessions – but that un-kind clock, with a little help from Dion Waiters, wouldn’t cooperate.

The Algebra of the Game

 Out with the old...
1st Quarter
FG: C’s – 7-22, .318 / Mia – 10-24, .524
3FG: C’s – 2-8, .250 / Mia – 3-7, .429
FT: C’s – 0-0, .000 [0] / Mia – 2-2, 1.000 [1]
TO: C’s – 4 / Mia – 3
OR: C’s – 2 + 1 (team) / Mia – 1 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 23 / Mia – 24
CV%: C’s – 7 / 23, .304 / Mia – 12 / 24, .500

2nd Quarter
FG: C’s – 9-26, .346 / Mia – 9-18, .500
3FG: C’s – 3-9, .333 / Mia – 4-10, .400
FT: C’s – 4-7, .571 [3] / Mia – 5-5, 1.000 [2]
TO: C’s – 2 / Mia – 7
OR: C’s – 3 + 2 (team) / Mia – 1 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 27 / Mia – 26
CV%: C’s – 12 / 27, .444 / Mia – 11 / 26, .423

3rd Quarter
FG: C’s – 8-20, .400 / Mia – 11-21, .524
3FG: C’s – 1-3, .333 / Mia – 1-6, .167
FT: C’s – 5-6, .833 [3] / Mia – 2-3, .667 [1]
TO: C’s – 1 / Mia – 1
OR: C’s – 0 + 1 (team) / Mia – 1 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 23 / Mia – 22
CV%: C’s – 11 / 23, .478 / Mia – 12 / 22, .545

 ...in with the new.
4th Quarter
FG: C’s – 11-16, .688 / Mia – 9-21, .429
3FG: C’s – 3-5, .600 / Mia – 2-5, .400
FT: C’s – 10-14, .714 [7] / Mia – 5-6, .833 [3]
TO: C’s – 4 / Mia – 5
OR: C’s – 2 + 1 (team) / Mia – 4 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 24 / Mia – 24
CV%: C’s – 18 / 24, .750 / Mia – 12 / 24, .500

Full Game
FG: C’s – 35-84, .417 / Mia – 40-81, .494
3FG: C’s – 9-26, .346 / Mia – 10-28, .357
FT: C’s – 19-27, .704 [13] / Mia – 14-16, .875 [7]
TO: C’s – 11 / Mia – 16
OR: C’s – 7 + 5 (team) / Mia – 7 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 97 / Mia – 96
CV%: C’s – 48 / 97, .495 / Mia – 47 / 96, .490

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