The “Winning Formula” in the 21st Century NBA

When a kid first picks up a ball to play some Hoops – whether we’re talking about nowadays or back-in-the-day – the object of the Game (whatever the game: half-court, full-court, a game of HORSE or “21”) is to put the ball through the goal more often your opponent, no?

Yet, as Commandant Silver and his minions take a pause in their NBA season to generate obscene amounts of revenue – maybe practice a little “Load Management” as well? – the squad sitting atop the league’s standings has recorded 12 FEWER successful Field Goals than has its opposition (2,468 – 2,480).

Sheesh … Dr. Naismith and the “nurturers” of the Association (Mikan, Eddie Gottlieb, Danny “Mr. 24-second Clock” Biasone, even Red himself) must be rolling over in their graves.

Now, despite this deficit in FG’s, newly-minted Boston Celtic Head Coach Joe Mazzulla’s boys have indeed been burning up the nets from the Free-throw line – they’ve attempted just 81 more FT’s than the other guys but converted 128 more. (Boston ranks third in FT% and is one of eight teams north of 80%.)

But an extra 100 points or so is not what has vaulted the Men in Green into a serious title contender … it’s that OTHER stripe on the floor … through 59 games, the C’s are +258 when it comes to on-target treys. That accounts for more than 70 percent of the team’s 362-point scoring edge through 59 games.

For the record, the Celtics stand No. 2 league-wide in takes, makes and accuracy from behind the arc.

Abacus Revelation for the Road

During the ’21-22 season’s 1,230 games, a team scored 130 points or more in a single game 187 times.

This season through 884 games, that plateau has been eclipsed 172 times.