FanPost

How Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee can beat the Vegas odds to the Finals

USA TODAY Sports

Vegas books (as of 2/28) average range 100:1 to 50:1 to 28:1 for NBA title.

Thirty five to one.......so you want be the underdog huh?

I don't care what any of you unabashed homers think, this Celtic's team has absolutely ZERO right to be in a title discussion. Yes, I have my ticket punched for the title train, but, in a court of law? My argument below isn't going to keep my client out of jail.

Title town train:

I am Bradley and then, Lee centric in my Celtic view and will try to figure out how two guys that play back court can legitimately carry a team. I don't think they can, but, I am on the title train and the only darn way this is going to happen is if these two continue to light it up....defensively. In most NBA towns “light it up” means scoring. Not in Boston.

The Boston Celtics are a defensive team which is lucky since they are not an offensive team. I have chosen the four NBA stats that sort of measure ball pressure or “staying in front of your guy” defense. The teams that win, restrict their opponents ability to move the ball and get quality shots. An important fact here is that 24 second violations are counted under turnovers. Your Celtics force a lot of these and it is reflected in the “T/O” numbers below. It is also reflected in the number of points scored against the Celtics in a game. When Bradley is in your shorts, you make crappy passes to out of position players who don't have a shot and throw it to another player who has Lee in his socks and so on. What happens? It takes you 21.5 seconds to get off a second rate shot and you average fewer points and, in the course of a game, you take fewer shots. This fewer/lower quality shot thing is good since the Celtics can't score or rebound.

Below you'll see opponent points per game in regulation. Our Celtics have posted an additional 30 minutes in game time through 6 OT's in their last 14 starts because they can't score or rebound....did I already mention that?

As our team is “new” now the stats below are for the last 14 games. 10 wins 4 losses.

The other team's numbers are for the season.

Opp FG%

Pacers 41.8% (#1 NBA)

Celtics 42.4%

OKC 43.0%

Opp 3PT %

Celtics 28.8% (#1 NBA)

Pacers 31.4%

Spurs 32.5%

Opp TO/gm

Celtics 16.0/gm (#1 NBA)

Clips 16.1/gm

Bucks 15.5/gm

Opp. Pts in regulation

Pacers 89.6/gm (#1 NBA/OT's included here)

Memphis 89.6/gm

Celtics 92.0/gm

There is only one way the Celtics succeed in the playoffs and that is by maintaining the above defensive “pace.” If you mash all of the stats above into one number, looks like Indiana and the Celtics might be playing a whole lot of 68-67 double overtime thrillers if they meet in the playoffs.

Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee must carry this team, that can't score or rebound, past teams that can. At 10-4 for their last 14 they are acting like they can. If you think offense is more important than defense in winning games, ask Curry how his 54 points worked out for his team the other night.

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