A site called the NBA Playbook has a fascinating breakdown of the Celtics in a preview for the upcoming season.
Here's the good news:
According to Synergy’s points per possession system, the Boston Celtics were the best defense in the entire NBA last year, allowing just 0.87 points per possession.
Frankly that stat surprises me given the team's overall regular season record from a year ago. But I suppose it just sheds a light on the need the team had for adding offense in the offseason. The author (Sebastian Pruiti) goes on to talk about the trust each player has for each other and uses lots of video evidence.
Then comes the bad news, and it isn't surprising to anyone that hasn't blocked the regular season out of their minds completely.
When reviewing Boston's HoopData.com page, I noticed a really interesting stat. The Boston Celtics were actually the 4th worst team in the NBA when it came to turnover rate. The Celtics turned it over 14.46% of their possessions. While some of their turnovers came in the post (12.6% of their post ups ended in turnovers), a big chunk of their turnovers came during the pick and roll (16.4% of their PNR Ball Handler possessions).
What is surprising (at least a little) is that the main culprit is our beloved point guard Rajon Rondo. Pruiti goes on to show how Rondo's lack of shooting really hurts his ability to run an effective pick and roll. Teams just sag off him and slip under the pick daring him to shoot. This forces Rondo to improvise and sometimes creates turnovers.
Interesting stuff. I'd kind of like to see why our rebounding became such a problem last year but I think Danny shed light on that recently when he talked about the fact that Pierce, Rondo and the rest of the smaller guys didn't crash the boards like they have in the past. Hopefully the O'Neals can do some boxing out which might create more long-rebound opportunities for those guys in the coming year.
These are some good things to keep an eye on during preseason too. Oh, did you notice that it is starting tonight? Enjoy the game.