Marcus Smart plus effective time management frustrates Giannis and the Deer

If I were coaching an NBA team, here’s a competitive strategy I’d think about using – intentionally allowing the opposing team to get the ball on the opening tip-off. I contend that this ploy provides better odds that your team will end up with more possessions during the game than the other guys.

In last night’s game with the Bucks, for instance, the Celtics had the final possession in each of the first three quarters. An errant Brad Wanamaker jumper ended Q1, a Marcus Smart desperation heave brought us to halftime, and a Jayson Tatum “dagger” pushed the C’s just-acquired lead to four points as the Q3 buzzer was sounding.

Milwaukee had the final official possession of Q4 – two Khris Middleton FT’s – as Boston proceeded to dribble out the closing seconds. But as tends to happen, it is the scoreboard that will dictate how Q4 ends, rather than the kind of clock management that is exercised during the earlier sessions.

In a game of alternating possessions, the only way to gain more opportunities to score than your opponent is when you get both the first and last chance during a timed segment of play, right?

Losing the opening tap gives you two opportunities to “time-manage” your way to an extra possession when the score is NOT the ultimate strategic factor (as it is in end-game situations).

Just a thought…

The Invaluable Player

I’ve said before and I’ll say again, Marcus Smart has got to rank at the top of the NBA’s “I Don’t Wanna Be Guarded by THAT Guy” list.

I believe a certain Greek Freak is the newest convert.

Game 4 vs Milwaukee

Boston 116

FG: C’s – 41-92, .446
3FG: C’s – 17-41, .415
FT: C’s – 17-21, .810 [9 conversions]
TS%: C’s – .521
OR: C’s – 5 + 6 (team) [minus 1 FT rebound]
DR: C’s – 40 + 2 (team) [minus 4 FT rebounds]
TO: C’s – 9 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 101 {51 “Empty”}
PPP: C’s – 1.149
CV%: C’s – 50 / 101, .495
Stripes: C’s – 13 [6.5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: C’s – 56.5 / 101, .559 {expected production, 113 points}

Milwaukee 105

FG: Mil – 38-82, .463
3FG: Mil – 14-45, .311
FT: Mil – 15-24, .625 [9 conversions]
TS%: Mil – .488
OR: Mil – 5 + 2 (team) [minus 1 FT rebound]
DR: Mil – 40 + 2 (team) [minus 2 FT rebounds]
TO: Mil – 15 + 0 (team)
Poss: Mil – 100 {53 “Empty”}
PPPs: C’s – 1.050
CV%: Mil – 47 / 100, .470
Stripes: Mil – 5 [2.5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: Mil – 49.5 / 100, .495 {expected production, 99 points}

Note re Calculation & Notation:

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) – FT OR’s

“Conversions” calculation: FG’s + FT conversions

“Stripes” calculation: 3FG’s – missed FTA’s

TS% = True Shooting Percentage

PPP = Points per Possession

CV% = Conversion Percentage

Abacus Revelation for the Road (just for the Stat Geeks)

You might have noticed I provide an expected point total for each team along with its Adjusted-for-Striping Conversion Percentage ... the "estimate" is simply twice the adjusted number of conversions.

The projection rarely matches a squad's actual output -- the difference comes from the extraneous free throws (e.g. techs, and-1's, the third attempt when fouled on a 3FGA).

Boston had 21 FTA's and nine FT conversions -- two "times" the conversions (i.e. 18) deducted from the attempts gives us three extraneous FT's, which, when added to the expected score (113), produces the actual score (116).

I have a sneaking suspicion that a Lane Violation by an offensive player will "muddy up" this simple addition. Sooner or later, I'll find out -- probably later since Mook ain't around no more!!
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