Beware the Fury of a Patient Man

In the short span of six days and three games, mild-mannered Boston Celtic Head Coach Brad Stevens has literally doubled his career total of regular-season Technical Fouls. (He’s had one in the pre-season, as well, believe it or not.) Each “outburst” occurred in Q4 of a close game – down by three at OKC, up by just one after the penalty the other night at home against Detroit.

Now some of you out there may be concerned that Brad, who was never teed up during his tenure at Butler, might be succumbing to a form of stress that he’s never known during his near-ten years as a bench-leader – the pressure of Expectation, of being the “hunted” rather than the “hunter.”

To that, I say “Poppycock!” – and I’ll even raise that to a “What took you so long, Coach?”

In the aftermath of those two “indiscretions,” the Stevens Squad converted 18 of their 26 possessions (.692), compared to 10 of 26 (.385) for the opposition – in the process, posting a 36 – 25 advantage on the scoreboard for that 10:44 of game time.

Along with outshooting the other guys .500 to .364, Brad’s boys compiled a deflating 11 – 1 edge in Points following a Turnover. Indeed, the C’s (namely Jayson Tatum) committed but one faux-pas during that near-quarter.

The Algebra of “Anger”

FG: C’s – 8 - 16, .500 / Opp– 8 - 22, .364
3FG: C’s – 2 - 6, .333 / Opp– 6 - 16, .375
FT: C’s – 18 - 20, .900 [10] / Opp– 3 - 4, .750 [2]
TO: C’s – 1 / Opp– 5
OR: C’s – 1 + 0 (team) / Opp– 3 + 0 (team)
DR: C’s – 10 + 2 (team) / Opp– 9 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 26 / Opp– 26
CV%: C’s – 18 / 24, .692 / Opp– 10 / 26, .385

Closing Unit

The data for this little “study” covers about 10-and-a-half minutes of game time. Marcus Smart contributed one steal in his 4:39, Terry Rozier one defensive rebound in his 1:00, while Gordon Hayward made no statistical scratch in his 1:23.

Here seem to be Brad’s “closers” and their numbers”:

Jaylen Brown has not missed a shot (a deuce, a trey and two FT’s) and grabbed a D-board.

Al Horford missed his only shot (a trey), was two-for-two at the line while snatching a D-board and dealing out three assists.

Despite missing all three of his FG attempts (including a three-ball), Jayson Tatum coolly hit seven of eight FT’s, while posting an assist, steal and D-board – also the team’s lone Turnover.

Marcus Morris contributed 10 points on two-for-three shooting from the field (one of two from deep) along with five out of six foul shots and two D-rebounds.

Kyrie Irving, who took seven of Boston’s 16 FG’s, matched Mook with 10 points (4-7, one missed trey, two-for-two at the line). Uncle Drew added five rebounds (one an OR) and an assist.

Changing Up on the Fly

Coach Stevens’s original playing rotation had Hayward on the bench to open the second half, so as to allow him to closeout Q4.

But ‘twould seem Brother Morris has usurped that role, at least for the time being.

Abacus Revelation for the Road

If you are skeptical about my theory regarding the coach’s “Technical” impact, check this out.

And just to be complete, he's Ejection No. 1.