C’s control “Time of Possession” to subdue rising Suns
Rob Schumacher/The Republic
I know, I know. Time of Possession seems more up Bill Belichick’s alley than that of Brad Stevens …
… but hear me out.
The Celtics started their second game in as many days sluggishly, falling into a seven-point hole before running off five consecutive conversions in the final two minutes to be able to slither into Q2 holding a four-point edge.
The Suns’ 27 Q1 possessions took up 330.9 seconds of clock time (12.26 seconds per), Boston’s equal number of opportunities occupied 317.1 seconds (11.74 per). Both sides’ successful possessions (i.e. conversions) required about one second less than that average.
Over the final three segments of play, the Celtics compiled a Possession Time advantage of just over two minutes, the length of their average possession increasing to 13.27 seconds in Q2, 14.16 seconds in Q3 and 15.87 in Q4. (The Phoenix average possession time stayed in the 12-13 second range throughout.)
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY
Boston’s 23 successful possessions in Q’s 2 & 3 burnt up almost 17 seconds each – the Suns’ 21 conversions over the same span used up about six fewer seconds apiece.
The disparity between the teams in this flavor of poise was crystalized in Q4. Each squad posted eight conversions. The Phoenix successes took but 64 seconds, Boston’s 108. Even while increasing their lead, Brad’s boys were exercising intelligent clock management.
Final Time of Possession:
Phoenix 1256.3 seconds (20.94 min.)
Boston 1365.2 seconds (22.75 min.)
[Computation note: the unaccounted for 258.5 seconds of game time primarily occurs between a player taking a possession-ending shot and an opponent securing the defensive rebound.]
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
Nearly one out of three (.325) conversions in this game required no more than seven seconds of the shot clock – 27 out of 83.