Algebra on the Quarter System: Getting primed for the stretch run
The 40 – 19 Boston Celtics have registered more “conversions” than the other guys in only 35 of their ballgames heading into this season’s All-Star Sabbatical – Holy Acronym, Batman. One of those “advantage” games was their streak-breaking loss at Miami on Thanksgiving Eve. (Brad’s boys did emerge victorious in the other 34.)
The C’s have been “out-converted” 23 times, stealing away with a win in five of these contests. Phoenix matched Boston’s 52 successful possessions in an early December Garden loss to the men in Green.
Interesting that, for all the frenzy generated by three-point shooting in today’s NBA, nearly 90% of the Celtics’ “basketball battles” (as a dude named Most used to call them) this season have been won by the team that controlled the back-and-forth “Flow” of the game, huh?
The last time the Celtics won the Q1 conversion battle was nearly three weeks ago in Denver – the subsequent eight Q1’s have produced two draws and six deficits. By contrast, the team held a conversion edge after 12 minutes in 10 of its first 14 games.
Through 59 First Quarters, Boston has been a .500 team in the matter of stops & conversions – here’s the breakdown for each period of play:
Despite all this season’s opportunistic performances, the Stevens Crew has been out-performed by its foes in both “Follow-up Points” (703 – 660) and “Points After Turnovers” (906 – 875).
Should we be concerned that, over the last 34 games, the opposition is +80 in “Free Throw Conversions”? The men in Green had been +44 in that category over the first 25 games.
And for what it’s worth, the bad guys have won 36 of 59 opening tip-offs – two out of three in OT, as well. On the other hand, the Celts have managed time at the close of quarters well enough to hold a 5,654 – 5,645 edge in total possessions.