Happy Sunday, everyone. Here are some quick Celtics-related things to think about.
Paul Pierce Sees Dip in Free Throw Percentage
Through the first 11 games of the season, Paul Pierce was leading the NBA in free throw percentage at 94.1 percent. He made 48 of the 51 free throws he attempted over that 11-game span. Over the last five games, however, Pierce has made just 20 of the 30 free throws he has attempted, good for just 66.6 percent. The gap in percentages speaks for itself. Because of the drop-off in percentage over the last five games, Pierce's free throw average for the season now sits at an even 84 percent. For his career, Pierce has shot 80.2 percent from the free throw line, and has shot at least 83 percent in each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 85.2 percent last season.
Kevin Garnett Already Closing in on Last Season's Double-Double Total
Last season, Kevin Garnett played 69 games for the Celtics and recorded only 10 double-doubles (all of which consisted of points and rebounds). Through 16 games this season, Garnett's already posted 7 double-doubles (all of which have also consisted of points and rebounds). This stat, combined with Garnett's other various rebounding statistics (9.2 rebounds per game, a defensive rebounding rate of 30.8 percent, etc.) serves as further proof (as if we needed any more) that, physically, Garnett is in a much better place this season compared to last season. They alley-oops, the sprinting up and down the floor, and the individual slam dunks (as opposed to the softer lay-ins) in traffic also worthy sources of evidence of this.
Glen Davis Preferring the Perimeter
Glen Davis has actually had something of an increased role for the Celtics off the bench this season. Not only has he been the team's most consistent and relied-upon player off of the bench, but he's been staying in the lineup down the stretch in the fourth quarter, with the other four starters, in place of Shaquille O'Neal. There's been talk lately, though, about the number of jump shots Davis has been taking. Overall, Davis is taking just about three more field goal attempts this season than he did last season, and sure enough, his attempts from 16-23 feet (according to Hoopdata) have risen to 3.5 per game, compared to just one per game last season. So far, he has hit just 41 percent of those shots.
His shots at the rim, meanwhile, have stayed just about the same as last season's. He took 2.5 attempts at the rim last season, compared to 2.4 attempts this season. His attempts from 10-15 feet are also up to 1.1 per game this season, compared to just 0.5 per game last season. The added field goals, then, are indeed coming on shots from the perimeter.