Living And Dying By The Mid-range Game

And one.

The popular theory is that the mid-range shot is the worst to take because it is a lower percentage shot than ones in the paint and isn't worth the 3 points.  In fact, several college coaches chastise their players for taking mid-range shots.  Yet the Celtics seem to be in love with the shot.

A couple of articles were recently written on the Celtics reliance on the mid-range game.  Both are worth reading but here are some clips.

The Point Forward " Posts Celtics’ unusual offense a study in extremes "

The Celtics are attempting the fewest three-pointers in the league by far (12.8 per game). Only two teams are attempting fewer foul shots per game. Only two teams have grabbed a lower percentage of offensive rebounds. And, as usual, the Celtics are turning the ball over too much. You can see the extremes. The Celtics are completely reliant on making the first two-point shot they take.

Home on the (mid)-range - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston

To suggest the Celtics' success is based solely on their ability to hit mid-range jumpers is clearly an oversimplification. That said, the Green -- who are sixth in the league overall from 16-to-23 feet, shooting 42.5 percent from that range -- have shot 38.9 percent or worse in three of their four losses this season. It's hard not to suggest that there's at least some correlation between when that shot falls and when it doesn't. 

The funny thing is, I don't see it changing any time soon.  Obviously Pierce has made a career out of that shot, so there's no sense changing something that works.  Kevin Garnett has moved further from the basket every year - to the point where he's practically straddling the 3 point line on his shots lately.  Rondo's range is limited so if anything I'm happy to see him focus on the mid-range game.  Glen Davis has that elbow jumper in his arsenal that he uses effectively.  And Ray Allen can shoot from anywhere he wants, I'll always think it is going in.

Granted, I'd like to see them grab a few more offensive rebounds (maybe a healthy Perkins and Jermaine O'Neal would help).  Frankly I'm surprise that we don't shoot that many three pointers with Ray, Pierce, Robinson, and others on the team.  Maybe Wafer will get some more time now, but I would have rather seen West out there hoisting them up.  I guess I'm just happy that it isn't Rasheed launching without conscience (or accuracy) again.

I guess the bottom line is that if it is working, keep doing it until the other teams stop it.

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