NBA Offense: See How they run – and maybe Why!

Friday night, the Celtics, the Bulls and the two LA teams – three dynasties and a dumpster fire, huh? – each played their 10th game of this most irregular of seasons, joining Brooklyn as the initial squads to reach this plateau.

Through 136 games, the best hoopsters on earth have already tallied a whopping 29,276 total points (111.7 per game per team), of which 3,524 (13.0 per game per team) are categorized as “Fast Break Points” – essentially 12 percent of NBA scoring this season.

Under FB conditions, Commissioner Silver’s workforce has attempted 2,296 FG’s, connecting on 1,370 of them – a none-too-shabby .597 shooting percentage. (Overall, the league is currently shooting .461.)

Our Celtics, who stand No. 8 in FG% at .480, have “run up” 126 points (11.2 percent of their scoring) on the Fast Break, shooting 52-for-77 (.675) during 79 FB opportunities (out of 996 total “possessions”). 57 of those FB’s resulted in points, a conversion rate of .722. [The C’s 517 converted possessions give them an overall CV% of .519.]

Opponents’ overall FG% of .468 ranks Boston at No. 10 at this point. The “bad guys” have scored 138 FB points (12.4 percent) on 59-for-88 (.670) shooting for 92 “run-outs” (out of 998 offensive opportunities). 62 of their FB’s resulted in points, a conversion rate of .674. [The opposition's 504 converted possessions give them an overall CV% of .505.]

Collectively, Boston’s first ten outings have produced a combined 171 Fast Breaks – about one out of every 12 of the nearly 2,000 offensive possessions.

Fast Break 101

Just what is it that precipitates a Fast Break?

There are only three possibilities – a made shot, a rebounded missed shot, or a “credited” Steal. [Sidenote: any other type of Turnover creates a stoppage in play and subsequent side-out.]

Only seven of those 171 FB’s have followed an opponent’s score; five of them were successful (.714).

66 breakouts were ignited by a Steal, of which 46 “paid off” (.697).

The other 98 required a D-board, and 68 proved point-worthy (.694). [There were 18 times that the errant FG that triggered the FB had been blocked, resulting in 13 conversions (.722).]

Graduate Students (?)

Through the season’s first 14 playing dates, Mike Budenholzer’s Milwaukee Bucks were out-scoring their opponents in FB points by 9.29 PER GAME – that’s almost as many as the No. 2 and No. 3 teams combined (Indiana, +5.43 & Brooklyn, +4.50).

Though they could never re-acquire their Mojo in last summer’s bubble, the Greek Freak and Crew were on the verge of making history when play was interrupted in March.