Celtics Need To Master The Mid-Range Game To Beat Heat

Some interesting analysis here by Ken Berger on the Celtics struggles with the Miami Heat.

What ails Celtics? Don't jump to conclusions - CBSSports.com

The rampaging work of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, of course, will continue to be of utmost concern when the series shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Saturday night. But in reality, the Celtics did as good a job as can be reasonably expected in forcing Wade and LeBron to rely on jump shots. According to HoopData.com, 20 of Wade's 41 field-goal attempts in the first two games came from beyond 15 feet. For James, it was 21 of 44.

Bottom line here is that if James and Wade are going to hit all the midrange shots you give them, you don't have much of a shot.

On the other side of the ball, it would help if our shooters (namely Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce) made some more of the shots that they normally make.

Pierce's problem isn't just ineffectiveness, it's the fact that somehow a player who has spent his entire career carving up opponents with an assortment of deadly mid-range jumpers has attempted only five shots between 10-23 feet in the first two games against Miami; he's 2-for-5.

Berger points out that Pierce took more three pointers (11) than Ray Allen has (10) which isn't the kind of shot distribution we're looking for.

So perhaps the key to game 3 and beyond is hoping that the law of averages evens things out so that the Heat are making fewer midrange shots and the Celtics are making more.

After the break, even more stats!

Round Two After Two: Some Facts You May Not Know - Behind the Basket - The Antidote for Conventional Wisdom

The Celtics’ shooting woes in Miami should not be a surprise to anyone. The C’s shot only 43% in Games One and Two. Although Boston lead the entire NBA with a 49% field goal percentage during the regular season, they’re facing a Heat squad that gave up a league second-best 43% during the year (and league third-best 48% eFG%), and that only surrendered 45% to the Celtics a few weeks ago when Miami spanked them by 23. In the first two weeks of the season when Miami was playing together for the first time (remember that Wade missed the preseason), Boston shot a cumulative 50% in two close wins over the Heat. Those days are long gone.

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