Marcus’s “Smarts” prove decisive in Game 2 squeaker

Tuesday’s Game Two between the Celts and Raptors will ever be remembered for Marcus Smart’s unconscious flurry of Q4 three-point shooting that put Boston in the “driver’s seat” for good.

But what will stick out in my mind as much (if not more) is the play for which Brad Stevens’s Swiss Army Knife was subsequently assessed a $5,000 “flopping” fine.

Marcus was in hot pursuit of a Fred Van Vleet break-out following one of Boston’s 17 turnovers with a little less than three minutes left in Q3. Smart had no real chance to catch up with the ball, but he did draw even with Pascal Siakim in the paint, even got his right leg in front of Pascal’s left.

The proximity sent Marcus flailing to his left … and induced Raptor coach Nick Nurse to successfully appeal the offensive foul called on Siakim, wiping out FVV’s layup.

While the official’s call was overturned after video review – giving Toronto an unusual three-point play – this little scenario is indicative of how Marcus Smart competes on the basketball floor. It’s a physical and intellectual “tug-o-war” for every square inch of the 94’ x 50’.

Take a look at Marcus the next time he is discussing/protesting a call that’s gone against him. He’s not “venting” but rather trying to get a better understanding – perhaps give one to the ref. These exchanges frequently involve demonstration and often end with nods rather than scowls.

Even “Flow”

In Game One’s easy win, the teams were dead even in “stops” – each side had 59 “Empty Possessions.”

In Game Two’s nail-biter, the teams were dead even in Conversions – each side had 43 successful offensive possessions.

As long as Toronto keeps missing three out of four treys while taking 46 percent of their shots from behind the arc, we’ll be fine, right?


FG: C’s – 32-76, .421
3FG: C’s – 15-38, .395
FT: C’s – 23-25, .920 [11 conversions]
TS%: C’s – .586
OR: C’s – 4 + 3 (team) [minus 0 FT rebounds]
DR: C’s – 40 + 3 (team) [minus 2 FT rebounds]
TO: C’s – 17 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 97 {54 “Empty”}
PPP: C’s – 1.052
CV%: C’s – 43 / 97, .443
Stripes: C’s – 13 [6.5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: C’s – 49.5 / 97, .510 {expected production, 99 points}


FG: Tor – 36-90, .400
3FG: Tor – 11-40, .275
FT: Tor – 16-19, .842 [7 conversions]
TS%: Tor – .505
OR: Tor – 7 + 4 (team) [minus 0 FT rebounds]
DR: Tor – 34 + 3 (team) [minus 1 FT rebound]
TO: Tor – 12 + 0 (team)
Poss: Tor – 98 {55 “Empty”}
PPP: Tor – 1.010
CV%: Tor – 43 / 98, .439
Stripes: Tor – 8 [4 conversion]
Adjusted CV%: Tor – 47 / 98, .480 {expected production, 94 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

During the regular season, the average NBA team secured 10.1 Offensive Rebounds per game and posted an OR% of .225.

Through two games, the C’s and Raps collectively grab just under six apiece, an OR% of .131.