Elvis … er, I mean Elton Has Left the Bubble

This may be a tough thing to say about what ended up being just a four-point win …

… but this game (and this series) was over a mere two-and-a-half minutes into the second half. It only took four possessions. Daniel Theis had just jammed home a nifty Kemba Walker feed. On the prior Celtic offensive foray, Jaylen Brown had slashed down the lane for a quick lay-up.

The most noteworthy element of each play was the decision of Philadelphia center Joel Embiid NOT to provide any rim protection on either play, despite being positioned to have done so. It appeared as if he was conceding the shots, maybe attempting to avoid foul trouble (although he picked up just one foul during the first 24 minutes).

The Theis play put the C’s ahead 61-60, and the 76ers would never play from in front again.

The “home” team had already revealed its self-destructive desperation with two first-half Technical Fouls.

Basketball Filibuster

For the second game in a row and third time in four outings, “Crunch Time” was interrupted for video review – on this occasion prompted by a Brad Stevens Coach’s Challenge to a loose Ball Foul whistled on Theiss, but subsequently assessed to old pal Al Horford. [BTW, was it a breach of “sporting etiquette” on Brad’s part to “challenge” a call so late in a game one has under control – 10-point lead with less than a minute to go?]

The game officials looked inept by resetting the shot clock to 24 seconds (rather than 14) on that Offensive Team Rebound … and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that Marcus Smart recognized the error (and was fully prepared to take advantage of it) before the “striped shirts” did.


FG: C’s – 38-82, .463
3FG: C’s – 12-35, .343
FT: C’s – 22-29, .759 [11 conversions]
TS%: C’s – .580
OR: C’s – 10 + 5 (team) [minus 1 FT rebound]
DR: C’s – 32 + 5 (team) [minus 4 FT rebounds]
TO: C’s – 14 + 1 (team)
Poss: C’s – 93 {44 “Empty”}
PPP: C’s – 1.183
CV%: C’s – 49 / 93, .527
Stripes: C’s – 5 [2.5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: C’s – 51.5 / 93, .554 {expected production, 103 points}


FG: Phil – 35-82, .427
3FG: Phil – 9-34, .265
FT: Phil – 27-34, .794 [16 conversions]
TS%: Phil – .547
OR: Phil – 8 + 4 (team) [minus 0 FT rebounds]
DR: Phil – 31 + 2 (team) [minus 3 FT rebounds]
TO: Phil – 8 + 0 (team)
Poss: Phil – 94 {43 “Empty”}
PPP: Phil – 1.128
CV%: Phil – 51 / 94, .543
Stripes: Phil – 2 [1 conversion]
Adjusted CV%: Phil – 52 / 94, .553 {expected production, 104 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

The numerical difference in this game can be found at the free throw line. The C’s benefitted from three Philly technical fouls, three and-1’s and an away-from-the-ball foul – seven bonus FTA’s. The 76ers compiled just two of these “extras” – one and-1 and a Smart Q1 “T”.

That 7-2 differential turned an “expected” 103-104 loss into a 110-106 series ender.

Basketball Algebra at its finest.