## The Big 3 - Still Relevant

As some of you have probably figured out, I am fascinated with stats and hidden things they can tell you. Sometimes one has to tease the real meaning from them. Hoopstats.com has one on player profiles based on win- lose- or draw in individual match ups. The math is rather straightforward; all the relevant stats added together minus the same stats of the opposing match up. Either they are better, worse, or the same. The one drawback is that the computations are not made when a player is not on the floor for at least 25 minutes of playing time. Still there are some interesting trends.

When the individual players "win" their match up, as one might expect the team wins a majority of the time, 62-80% depending on the player. The one anomaly is Courtney Lee. In the eight match ups he has won, the team has only won 38% of the time.

More telling though are the results when certain players lose their match ups. Of the 24 times Bass and 8 times that Bradley have lost their match up, the team has still won 50% of the time. For Terry and Lee, 21 and 12 losses, the winning percentage is still 43%. But this is where the Big 3 come in. In 18 losses for Pierce, the Celts only win 28% of the time. Rondo - 11 lost match ups for 27%. KG - 15 losses means the Celts only won 20% of the time. Obviously, they are not only still important, but those three winning their personal match up is critical to team success.

Quickly inserting himself into the mix is Green. When he has lost his match up, eight times, the teams success rate is only 25%. Maybe we should start talking about the Big 4.

What about when they at least play to a draw? It is mostly mixed; Green - 5W & 4L. Rondo - 1 & 3. Pierce - 6 & 3. KG - 5 & 6.

Also of note, in the 28 games where Green has played less than 25 minutes, the team's record is 14 & 14. In 32 games where Lee was under 25 minutes, 19 & 13. And in the 19 games Bass played under 25, the record is 7 & 12 which tends to say that he is maybe a little more important than what many of us had thought.

A final observation; on five occasions, Pierce and Rondo both lost their match up. The Celts lost all five. Once KG and Rondo both lost and so did the team. When Pierce and KG both lost their match up on the same night, the C's are 1W & 2L with the win being against Chicago and Rondo going off for 20/9/10 and 5 steals. Fortunately, only once, did all three lose their match up in the same game. You guessed it, a loss, It was the game against Atlanta, Rondo's last of the season.

So what is the point? Like it or not, for better or worse, the fate of the Celtics is still tied to the performance of the Big 3 (or 4). They can't do it alone and the rest of the roster is still important. But the team is only going as far as the core takes it.

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