# The Algebra of a Comeback: C’s survive slow start, hold serve for 2 – 0 edge on 76ers

In Monday night’s series opener, Philadelphia looked every bit the sluggish team that hadn’t played in about a week.

For the first 16 minutes and 32 possessions of Game 2, the Sixers, particularly veteran JJ Redick, had regained the swagger that had produced 20 victories in their last 22 games – making the Celtics, who’ve not traveled in a week, look like a road-weary, out-of-sync squad.

In those 32 possessions, Boston had committed seven turnovers (at a cost of 14 points) and allowed Philly 10 second chances worth 10 follow-up points – and found themselves in a 42 – 24 hole.

While the rugged Sixers would work their way to seven more second chances (eight more F-U points), Brad’s Stevens’s feisty crew would go on to commit but two more miscues in their final 62 possessions.

Sometimes winning requires exceptional play; other times ya just gotta stop beating yourself.

Summative Equation:
Bos – 48 Conversions + [+10 “Stripes”] {15 treys “minus” 5 missed FT’s “equals” 10 stripes}
Phil – 46 Conversions + [+9 “Stripes”] {13 treys “minus” 4 missed FT’s “equals” 9 stripes}
Expected Outcome -- +2 Conversions + [+1 Stripe] = C’s win by 5 points
Actual Score: Boston 108, Philadelphia 103

The Algebra of the Game

1st Quarter
FG: C’s – 7 - 20, .350 / Phil – 13 - 27, .481
3FG: C’s – 3 - 7, .429 / Phil – 4 - 6, .667
FT: C’s – 5 - 6, .833 [2] / Phil – 1 - 3, .333 [1]
TO: C’s – 3 / Phil – 3
OR: C’s – 1 + 0 (team) / Phil – 7 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 24 / Phil – 24
CV%: C’s – 9 / 24, .375 / Phil – 14 / 24, .583

About the only good thing that came out of this segment of play was Joel Embiid picking up two fouls, one a very cheapie as Marcus Smart was taking a three.

Even that Simmons guy scored a point.

2nd Quarter
FG: C’s – 12 - 24, .500 / Phil – 9 - 21, .429
3FG: C’s – 4 - 10, .400 / Phil – 3 – 9, .333
FT: C’s – 1 - 2, .500 [1] / Phil – 4 - 6, .667 [3]
TO: C’s – 4 / Phil – 4
OR: C’s – 2 + 1 (team) / Phil – 2 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 26 / Phil – 25
CV%: C’s – 13 / 26, .500 / Phil – 12 / 25, .480

Last year in his first genuine “run” through the post-season, Coach Stevens demonstrated a willingness to go deep into his rotation when needed – utilizing rookie Jaylen Brown with regularity and spot-starting Gerald Greene.

Looking at a 20+-point deficit, he opted for a line-up featuring both Al Horford and Greg Monroe. While Big Greg’s numbers (4 points, a rebound, a steal) look skimpy, the C’s won the 6:15 he played 16 – 14.

More importantly, momentum had swung, and we had a game on our hands.

3rd Quarter
FG: C’s – 10 - 20, .500 / Phil – 7 - 20, .350
3FG: C’s – 4 - 11, .364 / Phil – 2 - 7, .286
FT: C’s – 4 - 6, .667 [3] / Phil – 3 - 3, 1.000 [1]
TO: C’s – 1 / Phil – 4
OR: C’s – 1 + 1 (team) / Phil – 4 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 22 / Phil – 21
CV%: C’s – 13 / 22, .591 / Phil – 8 / 21, .381

Basketball 101 preaches that the last thing you ever want to do is put a guy struggling with his shot on the foul line.

Near the mid-point of Q3, old friend Amir Johnson, freshly inserted by coach Brett Brown, committed a shooting foul on Marcus Morris, who was 0-for-3 on the night and 5-for-15 for the series.

Though Mook would split the pair of FT’s, that was enough to nudge loose the lid from his goal. He went on to hit three of his final five shots (two treys among them) and both other FT’s … and one of his misses was a quarter-ending heave.

4th Quarter
FG: C’s – 8 - 18, .444 / Phil – 11 - 24, .458
3FG: C’s – 4 - 8, .500 / Phil – 4 - 11, .364
FT: C’s – 9 - 10, .900 [5] / Phil – 2 - 2, 1.000 [1]
TO: C’s – 1 / Phil – 1
OR: C’s – 1 + 1 (team) / Phil – 3 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 22 / Phil – 23
CV%: C’s – 13 / 22, .591 / Phil – 12 / 23, .522

On his game-clinching lay-up with eight seconds to go, Al Horford either (a) jumped off the wrong foot, or (b) shot with the wrong hand – I just can’t figure out which it is.

Full Game
FG: C’s – 37 - 82, .451 / Phil – 40 - 92, .435
3FG: C’s – 15 - 36, .417 / Phil – 13 - 33, .394
FT: C’s – 19 - 24, .889 [11] / Phil – 10 - 14, .714 [6]
TO: C’s – 9 / Phil – 20
OR: C’s – 5 + 3 (team) / Phil – 5 + 2 (team)
Poss: C’s – 94 / Phil – 93
CV%: C’s – 48 / 94, .511 / Phil – 46 / 93, .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