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First to the Floor: breaking down the Celtics bizarre loss in Denver

Sometimes, shooting luck just doesn’t go your way.

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets Photo by Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images

In this episode of First to the Floor, Ben and I talk New Year’s resolutions for all the Celtics (which we stole from CelticsBlog’s Daniel Poarch), poorly thought-out hangover cures, and hot takes for the next year of Celtics basketball.

Unfortunately, we also discussed the loss in Denver. While it was disappointing to start the new year off with a loss, we both came away from this one feeling pretty encouraged. Why? Well, sometimes the shooting luck just doesn’t go your way, and boy, did it not that night. I mean, when Bones Hyland is making shots like this:

You know it might just not be your night. Somehow, the 40-minute delay to fix the rim was the second craziest thing that happened after that lefty leaner Bones hit. Jaylen Brown put it well, saying, “they just shot the hell out of the ball. 17 for 30 from three, it’s, ya know, it’s an anomaly.”

So, in the interest of honoring Jaylen’s excuse . . . I mean, reasoning, let’s look at just how big the shooting gap and variance was between the teams.

  • This was the 11th time this season a team has shot over 55% from 3, those teams are 11-0.
  • This is the 6th time the Celtics have shot worse than 28% from three. They are 1-5 when they do so, with the only win coming against OKC.
  • The Celtics went 4/16 on wide open threes, while the Nuggets went 6/15.
  • The Celtics shot 5/15 on open threes. The Nuggets shot 5/13.
  • The Nuggets made 5 of their 9 very tightly contested shots, the Celtics made only 2 of 6.
  • The Celtics did outperform the Nuggets on tightly contested shots (neither team made a tightly contested three).
  • Jokic made a three that bounced about 17 times off the rim and then somehow found the bottom of the net.
  • This tweet pretty interesting if you like analytics:

So, what does all of this mean? For one, losing stinks and I’ll do just about anything to make it not stink so much. Second, the Nuggets hit their open threes and difficult shots at a higher rate than the Celtics, and sometimes, that’s all that matters.

Hope you enjoy the episode and please like and subscribe and all that stuff. Thanks for listening!

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