# The Algebra of Playoff Home Cookin’: Maker ‘elevates’ the game, Bucks hold serve

In much the same way that the opening skirmish of Game 2 had set a tone for the battle, the plotline of Game 3 was established within 10 possessions.

While most may point the finger of blame at Boston’s putrid Q1 FG shooting, the men in Green were able to procure a measly three stops in their first 10 tries. By that point, the C’s had already rung up as many turnovers (on their way to an unacceptable eight for the period) and fallen to a 10-point deficit.

Summative Equation:

Bos – 44 Conversions + [0 “Stripes”] {8 treys “minus” 8 missed FT’s “equals” 0 stripes}
Mil – 51 Conversions + [+11 “Stripes”] {16 treys “minus” 5 missed FT’s “equals” 11 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- -7 Conversion + [-11 Stripes] = C’s lose by 25 points
Actual Score: Boston 92, Milwaukee 116

The Algebra of the Game

1st Quarter
FG: C’s – 2 - 19, .105 / Mil – 11 - 20, .550
3FG: C’s – 1 - 8, .125 / Mil – 3 - 6, .500
FT: C’s – 7 - 10, .700 [5] / Mil – 2 - 4, .500 [2]
TO: C’s – 8 / Mil – 3
OR: C’s – 5 + 3 (team) / Mil – 1 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 24 / Mil – 24
CV%: C’s – 7 / 24, .292 / Mil – 13 / 24, .542

Five of the Celtics’ 12 Q1 points were the result of second efforts on the O-boards – another five followed a Buck turnover. The C’s shot better on three-balls (1-8, .125) than on twos (1-11, .091).

2nd Quarter
FG: C’s – 10 - 20, .500 / Mil – 12 - 19, .632
3FG: C’s – 2 - 3, .667 / Mil – 4 - 7, .571
FT: C’s – 1 - 1, 1.000 [0] / Mil – 3 - 3, 1.000 [1]
TO: C’s – 6 / Mil – 3
OR: C’s – 4 + 1 (team) / Mil – 2 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 21 / Mil – 21
CV%: C’s – 10 / 21, .476 / Mil – 13 / 21, .619

One of the basic tenets of Basketball Wisdom is that marginal players are more apt to perform better at home than on the road. Little surprise, then, when an Eric Bledsoe or Jabari Parker finds a comfortable rhythm while Coach Stevens’s “Next Men Up” squandered nearly a third of their 45 first-half possessions to Turnovers.

3rd Quarter
FG: C’s – 12 - 22, .545 / Mil – 11 - 21, .524
3FG: C’s – 3 - 6, .500 / Mil – 2 - 8, .250
FT: C’s – 5 - 6, .833 [2] / Mil – 3 - 6, .500 [2]
TO: C’s – 1 / Mil – 2
OR: C’s – 2 + 0 (team) / Mil – 2 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 23 / Mil – 23
CV%: C’s – 14 / 23, .609 / Mil – 13 / 23, .565

The Bucks entered this series as the league’s second-worst defensive rebounding team (fifth-worst at the other end), and the C’s continue to exploit this weakness. Including “significant” team rebounds, Boston holds a whopping 53 – 21 edge in second chance opportunities (good for a 60 – 19 advantage in scoring) through three games.

4th Quarter
FG: C’s – 8 - 19, .421 / Mil – 11 - 19, .579
3FG: C’s – 2 - 7, .286 / Mil – 7 - 12, .583
FT: C’s – 7 - 11, .636 [5] / Mil – 2 - 2, 1.000 [1]
TO: C’s – 3 / Mil – 1
OR: C’s – 6 + 1 (team) / Mil – 2 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 20 / Mil – 19
CV%: C’s – 13 / 20, .650 / Mil – 12 / 19, .632

Beating someone “at their own game” may be fun, even satisfying – but is it really practical in the long run?

The Milwaukee Bucks ranked 25th in usage of the three-point shot this season, and 22nd in accuracy. They attempted 33 or more treys just four times in 82 games – all losses.

Remember when Thon Maker drained that corner three and you groaned “Oh, no”? Perhaps we should be exhorting him to “Fire away, baby!”?

Full Game
FG: C’s – 32 - 80, .400 / Mil – 45 - 79, .570
3FG: C’s – 8 - 24, .333 / Mil – 16 - 33, .485
FT: C’s – 20 - 28, .714 [12] / Mil – 10 - 15, .667 [6]
TO: C’s – 18 / Mil – 9
OR: C’s – 17 + 5 (team) / Mil – 7 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 88 / Mil – 87
CV%: C’s – 44 / 88, .500 / Mil – 51 / 87, .586

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