Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Swoon Over The Miami Game

OK, friends, it's 3:45am so let's see if I can get all this stuff up here before the sun comes up, on yet another Celtics game day.

A win tonight for Boston, moves them legitimately into the 4th spot in the East. It's gone under-reported in Boston that the 4th seed DOES NOT come with automatic home court advantage.  For that, the Celtics will have to match at least two of the three teams in front of them, Atlanta, Orlando and Indiana.  But they can accomplish two-thirds of that by beating the Hawks in a few hours.  The Celtics trail the fading Magic by just 1/2 game now (and already own the tie-breaker), and the Hawks by one game (and would clinch the tie-breaker with a win on Wednesday).

But that's tonight, now some notes from what clearly was the game of the year for the Celtics, a 115-107 stunner of a statement win Tuesday in Miami....

* Miami had been 23-3 at home.

* 115 points and 60.6% shooting were both season highs for the Celtics.  They hadn’t shot better than 52.2% all year heading into Sunday.  Now 59% and 61% in the last two games against the Sixers and Heat, two of the NBA's top-five defenses. 

* How impressive was the shooting performance?  


.658 - VS. NEW YORK – DECEMBER 21, 2008
.645 VS. DENVER  – NOVEMBER 7, 2007
.641 – VS. DETROIT – APRIL 3, 2011
.630 - @ PHOENIX – FEBRUARY 22, 2009
.623 - VS. TORONTO – NOVEMBER 27, 2009
.622 - VS. DETROIT – MARCH 15, 2010
.616 - @ TORONTO – NOVEMBER 23, 2008
.613 - VS. SAN ANTONIO – JANUARY 5, 2011
.612 - VS. ATLANTA – NOVEMBER 9, 2007
.606 - @ MIAMI – APRIL 10, 2012
.603 - @ L.A. LAKERS – JANUARY 30, 2011
.600 - @ ATLANTA – APRIL 1, 2005
.600 – VS. ORLANDO – JANUARY 17, 2011

* The Celtics have scored 107+ points four times in 57 games, but did it in both games at Miami.

* Doc Rivers said the one thing the Celtics couldn't do in Miami was turn the ball over. I guess he was wrong. Points off turnovers were 24-5 for Miami. The Heat had 16 more shots and two more free throws, and the Celtics still won by 8 on the road.

* The Celtics now have 10 straight wins when scoring 100 points, 15 straight wins when not getting out-rebounded.

* The 107 points allowed was the 5th highest total this year, but 2nd win of those five (NY March 4)

* The +6 advantage for the Celtics on the glass was their best rebounding night since Memphis Feb. 5, a span of 34 games.

* Paul Pierce is now 24 points ahead of Tim Duncan for the final spot on the NBA’s Top 25 all-time scoring list.  The Celtics tonight will for the second time, have three of the top 25 scorers in league history. The first being during the one game last April after Ray Allen passed Gary Payton to reach the Top 25, and Shaq returned to the Celtics, only to get re-injured.  If you're wondering, as I was, it happened in 1996 with Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in Houston.

* Paul Pierce also passed Wilt Chamberlin (6,065) fo 14th on the NBA’s all-time free-throws made list.

* LeBron James had 36, he's the 3rd to score more than 32 on Boston this year (Carmelo Anthony, Dec. 25 at New York, Marcus Thornton Mar. 15 at Sacramento). James' 13 made free throws matched Melo’s season high.  It was also his 19th straight game of 20+ points against Boston, the longest streak against the Celtics since Kareem from 1969-79.

* Updated from our friend Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam),  The Celtics have shot a higher FG% than their opponent in 14 consecutive games, which is the longest current streak in the NBA. The longest streak of its kind for the Celtics since 1992. (17 games).  The NBA high this year was 16 by Miami.

* Rajon Rondo is the 4th player in NBA history with at least 10 assists in 18 straight games in a single season, joining John Stockton, Magic Johnson and Kevin Porter. Rondo is the first player with a 18-game streak since Stockton, who had at least 10 assists in 29 straight games from Jan.-March 1992.

* The Celtics now lead the league in field goal defense (.419).  In the last ten games (eight wins), Boston has allowed 84.2 points per game, and just 38.3% shooting from the floor. 

* And while tonight is a tough back-to-back against a potential playoff opponent (Atlanta) that hasn't played since Saturday, the Celtics are 8-9 in back-to-back games this year, but 6-0 at home.  

And yeah, I think we're done here.  

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