Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thunder beat the Celtics - interesting boxscore

I don't watch a lot of NBA games since moving back to Hong Kong a few years ago. (I do catch the All-Star and a couple of Playoff games). So I regularly check game recaps and box scores. I noticed something interesting today.

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Boston Celtics today. The game recap is not up yet. So I'm just checking out the box score.

Looking at the Thunder's stats, it's easy to see how they won. Durant scores 37, adds 8 rebounds, turns it over just twice, shoots 50% from the field, and is perfect from the charity stripe. Westbrook scores 21 with 10 assists, also just 2 turnovers, and shoots over 50% from the field. Actually, every Thunder shot over 50% except for Krstic who goes for 2 out of 7.

Looking at the Celtics' stats, it's difficult to see how they lost. The Big3 combined for 46 points while shooting over 50% from the field. Rondo had a great game with 16 pts, 11 assists, 5 rebs, and 5 steals. Rasheed finally found his touch with 18 pts going 7 of 8 from the field.

Celtics shoot 59.5% from the field (44/74)
Thunder shoots 50.7% from the field (38/75)

Rebounding numbers are close with the Thunder edging the Celtics 36 to 32.

The Celtics have 16 fast break points to the Thunder's 13.

The Celtics have 56 points in the paint to the Thunder's 40.

The Celtics have 30 assists to the Thunder's 22.

The Celtics have 9 steals to the Thunder's 6.

The Celtics just have 2 more turnovers than the Thunder.

The Celtics just have 4 more fouls against them than the Thunder.

Then I noticed one glaring detail that probably explains it all. Free throws.

From the stripe, Celtics go for 13 of 17 while the Thunder went 28 of 34.

Wonder why that is...
My theory is that the teams are no longer afraid of the Celtics defense. The C's use to be dominant in this area. They had quick rotations. They were physical with you all over the floor. 1on1 moves were met with aggressive double teams. Slashers would get knocked down by hard fouls.
Not anymore, it seems. Just looking at the boxscore, it seems like the Thunder are just driving the ball into the teeth of the defense. And they'll either score or get to the line.

They can't blame their defense on injuries anymore. Everyone is as healthy as they can be. It's just that age has finally caught up to them.

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