C’s sting Hornets in Kemba Walker’s return to Charlotte
After “gutting out” a two-point home victory against an inferior opponent just seven days ago – a game that saw 24 lead changes – the Boston Celtics have been required over their last two road triumphs to execute just SEVEN offensive possessions (all in Q1, incidentally) while trailing on the scoreboard.
Kemba Walker struggled to find his rhythm in his return to Tobacco Road, missing eight of 12 shots on his way to 14 points and a team-high six assists (tied with Gordon Hayward).
Nine of Walker’s 12 FGA’s came from Three-point Land. During his eight seasons in Charlotte, Kemba took 36% of his shots from behind the stripe (43% in 2018-19).
For his seven games in Celtic Green, the team’s new lead guard has taken exactly half his field goals (63 out of 126) from behind the Arc and is shooting better for three’s (.413) than deuces (.381).
Through 17 days and seven games, Coach Brad Stevens can lay claim to the most sure-handed squad in the Association, their skimpy .107 TOV% topping the charts. The C’s have concluded only 85 of their 709 possessions (12.0%) with a miscue. (Opponents squander 17.3% of their scoring opportunities – 122 TO’s in 706 possessions.)
[For some unknown (to me, anyway) reason, “official” Turnover Percentage is the ratio of Errors to the total number of “plays” – rather than to the total number of “possessions” (i.e. opportunities to score). The only difference between the two terms is that an offensive rebound will initiate a new Play but simply extend an on-going Possession.
Maybe quantifying the impact of TO’s on the basis of “plays” creates a better measuring-stick for evaluating the performance of an individual player …
… but a statistic that represents the percentage of lost possessions seems a more appropriate measure for rating a team’s level of success in this area.]
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
Through the season’s first 115 games, a team has amassed 10 or more “stripes” 51 times – there have been eight games where both sides have had double-digit stripes. In the other 35 games, the “high-stripers” have won 21 (.600).
So far, there have been 26 occasions when a team has misfired on 10 or more FT’s – both teams have shot FT’s so poorly three times. The free-throw-challenged team actually won eight of the other 20 games (.400).
As much as the revamped Celtics are impressing this season, their odds to win the Atlantic still lag at around +450. Their 4-1 start puts them a game off the pace set by unbeaten Philadelphia. The Sixers (-275) have been odds-on chalk since opening night and have done nothing to dissuade the sports betting websites listed at SBD that they're going to be a powerhouse, posting an East-leading +9.0 point difference, 3.4 points better than Boston.