Thursday, March 15, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

The Celtics are on their way to Sacramento.  To the rest of their season, and the rest of this five-year New Big Three Era.

Twitter has taken over so much of the world, so to no one’s surpsie, it ruled today’s NBA Trade Deadline, for better and worse.  At our flagship station in Boston, I was asked to give them a “heads up” on any moves the Celtics might make.

But here's the thing, with Twitter there is no more “heads up”, there is only “never mind.”

Ray Allen was traded about 3,600 times on Twitter this morning, none as it turns out, it real life.

Never mind.

In any case, just a quick reminder what happened the last time we were told the Celtics were about to trade Ray Allen, two years ago at the 2010 deadline.  In the final year of his contract, trade rumors centered on Ray the entire 09-10 season right up to deadline day.  His numbers that year before the deadline?

                                    GAMES           FG%                3FG%              FT%          20+ pts

Before 2010 Deadline        50              .447                 .333                 .894                  9

You know the rest, or maybe you don’t. But either way, Ray went on an historic tear through the rest of the season, the run to Game 7 of the NBA Finals, and all the way through the following year, passing Reggie Miller to become the NBA’s  three-point shooting champion, and going a full calendar year, at age 35, averaging the shooter’s holy trinity of 50% from the field, 40% from the three and 90% from the line.

While Kevin Martin’s shot 43%, and played fewer minutes, for Houston.

Let’s look at those numbers again now, before the deadline, and in the 30 games that followed his not being traded….

                                    GAMES           FG%                3FG%              FT%          20+ pts

Before 2010 Deadline      50              .447                 .333                 .894                  9
After 2010 Deadline        30              .538                 .412                 .961                 10

Now for good measure, let’s tack on his full 2010-2011 season, including the playoffs…

                                    GAMES           FG%                3FG%              FT%          20+ pts

Before 2010 Deadline      50              .447                 .333                 .894                  9
After 2010 Deadline        30              .538                 .412                 .961                 10
2010-2011                        89              .494                 .461                 .889                 25

So, take from it what you will.  But it’s easy, in the age of video games and fantasy drafts, to lose the human element of pro sports.  But it is undeniable.  Ray himself was adamant in 2010 that the trade rumors didn’t bother him.  You can decide for yourself.

But for those who thought the Celtics should have pulled the trigger on a Ray Allen deal today, or Pierce or Garnett or even Rondo, remember the Celtics are playing better now than they were two years ago at this time.

2009-2010 Celtics from Christmas on: 28-27 (+0.6 differential)
2001-2012 Celtics from Christmas on: 23-19 (+1.3 differential)

And we know how that turned out.

Some miscellaneous notes on the Celtics ride from San Francisco to Sacramento…

** Friday night at the building-formerly-known-as-Arco begins a most unusual stretch for the Celtics.  Waiting to hear from Elias on just how unique, but the Celtics will now play their next four games…in four different time zones.

** Milestone month continues for Kevin Garnett.  Monday night he passed Moses Malone to move into 11th on the NBA’s all-time minutes played list. If he averages 24/minutes a game the rest of the year, he’ll pass Robert Parish into the top 10.  But the big one could come as early as Friday, he’s four assists from 5,000 for his NBA career.  It will give him 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals, joining a class…of no one.  It's never been done.  KG clinched the Hall of Fame somewhere around 2005.  If there’s a VIP room within the Hall of Fame?  With velvet ropes and fancy appetizers?  Yeah, he’s in there, too.

** Speaking of milestones, congratulations to Tim Duncan on moving into the top 25 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.  But don’t get too comfortable.  It won’t be a long stay.  Paul Pierce is closing fast.  Duncan won the race to Clyde Drexler and the top 25, but he won’t win the marathon.  The Celtics captain will likely pass Drexler before the Celtics return home next weekend.  103 points behind Duncan, he’ll need to average 4.3 points per game more than Duncan to move into the top 25 by the end of the year, and move directly behind, wait for it…Ray Allen.


** The win in Oakland was the Celtics’ 5th straight when scoring 100 points.  That’s not all that unusual, until you consider the C’s started this very strange year 0-3 when scoring 100.

** Yes, the rebounding numbers.  They are what they are.  The Celtics, down to one true center on the roster, a center whose primary professional minutes before this year came in Turkey and Korea, are last in the league in rebounding.  The win in Oakland last night moved them to 15-2 when outrebounding opponents, and ended an incredible run of games.  In the previous five, the Celtics had been outrebounded by 80.  80.  16 a game.  And still won three of the five.

** And making his debut in the bullet-point section, is one of the most improved players in the NBA. Avery Bradley’s meteoric rise into the rotation began with his lock down of Jameer Nelson on January 23rd.  And the numbers show it.  In the 15 games Avery Bradley has played fewer than 10 minutes, the Celtics are 5-10. When he does play 10+ minutes, the Celtics are 18-9. Making him, the anti-Gerald Green.  (At least the 2007 version.)

** And continuing a tradition started nearly a decade ago, the Celtics traveling party stopped on the road from San Francisco to Sacramento at In N Out Burger.  An unintentional yet still dead-on homage to the last 24 hours in the life of Dwight Howard.

1 comment:

  1. C`s waived O`Neal,Wilcox, and Daniels by tomorrow. Ainge should sign B.Diaw,E.House,G.Arenas, and R.Wallace for 1 year by tomorrow. Diaw at the 5 spot next to KG those 2 should combine 24 boards a game hands down. Bass back on the bench along with Pietrus,Arenas,House, and Wallace scoring and helping the C`s win ball games. Doc should let this run and play 1 on 1 defense to beat Miami and Chicago in the Playoffs this season.