“Traveling” through the Pre-season

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. OK!

There was Marcus Smart’s O-board / touch-pass-assist to the Timelord just prior to the halftime buzzer that’s fit for any hi-lite reel.

Umm … (head scratch)

Oh, yeah, it’s become a rare treat in recent times to get the chance to hear Tommy Heinsohn delivering his unique brand of basketball analysis. I’m not quite old enough to have seen Heinsohn the player, but I was in Jr. High during the Coach Russell Era when the occasional (though increasing) local telecasts on Channel 56 were “voiced” by Heinie and Red Auerbach – most entertaining broadcast team ever, if you ask me.

Unfortunately, I fear that anything further to be offered about the “Exhibition” rendered by the C’s and Cadavers Sunday afternoon is gonna be in violation of that original premise.

Sure, there was some heady floor leadership shown by Tremont Waters, quite a stroke on the Struss kid, and athleticism dripping from every pore of the aptly named Mr. Green. (This was my first peek at the rooks in action.)

Coach Heinsohn and current broadcasting partner Mike Gorman lauded Boston’s defensive effort, and with good reason. The Cavs – while launching over half their FG attempts (40 of 79) from Three-point Land – came up “empty” on a whopping 67 of their 102 possessions and had almost as many Turnovers (29) as conversions (35).

A Little “Traveling” Music

Sunday’s officiating crew deftly (?) detected a combined 48 punishable miscues in ball-handling and/or clock management – one per minute of play. Nearly one in four of those TO’s (11 in all) were Traveling violations.

In the C’s more competitive Pre-Season opener against Charlotte, the teams combined for nine Travels and two discontinued dribbles among their 49 total TO’s. (In the Orlando romp, the only such call occurred in the game’s final minute – though each side did manage to post 20+ TO’s for the evening.)

I believe I heard a commentator on another NBATV telecast point out that the league has made it a “Point of Emphasis” to more strictly enforce the letter of the law in these areas of ball-managing.

From what I could detect from Sunday afternoon’s action, however, it seems as if this emphasis is occurring when a player is initiating his dribble. In that situation, by rule, the ball must leave the player’s hand before he lifts his pivot foot from the floor.

But does not the league-wide outcry regarding “too many steps” center around the conclusion of a player’s dribble (i.e. the “gather”) and its more fuzzy “gray areas” – Brother Harden the poster-boy?

The Integers and Integrals of the Game

Cleve at Bos (10/13/19)

Boston -118

FG: C’s – 46-90, .511
3FG: C’s – 13-29, .448
FT: C’s – 13-22, .591 [9 conversions]
TS%: C’s – .592
OR: C’s – 14 + 1 (team) [minus 0 FT rebounds]
DR: C’s – 35 + 4 (team) [minus 2 FT rebounds]
TO: C’s – 18 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 103 {48 “Empty”}
PPP: C’s – 1.146
CV%: C’s – 55 / 103, .534
Stripes: C’s – 4 [2 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: C’s – 57 / 103, .553 {expected production, 114 points}

Cleveland - 72

FG: Cleve – 26-79, .329
3FG: Cleve – 7-40, .175
FT: Cleve – 13-18, .722 [9 conversions]
TS%: Cleve – .414
OR: Cleve – 10 + 5 (team) [minus 0 FT rebounds]
DR: Cleve – 33 + 1 (team) [minus 5 FT rebounds]
TO: Cleve – 27 + 2 (team)
Poss: Cleve – 102 {67 “Empty”}
PPP: Cleve – 0.706
CV%: Cleve – 35 / 102, .343
Stripes: Cleve – 2 [1 conversion]
Adjusted CV%: Cleve – 36 / 102, .353 {expected production, 72 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