Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

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Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by bobheckler on Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:39 am

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2018/11/03/onhoop/yps0XFRHbd0Bl2xZhskb7L/story.html


Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?


By Gary WashburnGLOBE STAFF
NOVEMBER 4, 2018



INDIANAPOLIS — The Celtics lost Saturday at Indiana despite hitting eight more 3-pointers than the Pacers and two more field goals overall.

They are making matters difficult for themselves because they aren’t getting to the free throw line, evidenced by their minuscule nine attempts in the 102-101 loss. They were outscored by Indiana, 19-6, from the free throw line, keeping the Pacers in the game and enabling the scenario in which Victor Oladipo could win the game with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds left.

Credit the All-Star guard with an impressive shot under pressure, but the Celtics lost this game far before the waning moments. They went a ridiculous 27 minutes, 29 seconds without attempting a free throw.

The Pacers attempted 17 free throws in that same span, meaning the Celtics offense has to be even more efficient to stay close. And they are also not getting many easy points — either free throws or layups.


The Celtics hit 19 3-pointers, but the problem was the they hit just 19 of 42 2-pointers. The Celtics are hitting just 46.9 percent this season on 2-pointers and rank 28th in the NBA in free throw attempts.


Boston is relying too heavily on the 3-pointer. The Celtics are flailing on midrange shots and layups, such as Kyrie Irving’s backdoor layup with 11.7 seconds left that could have extended the lead to 4. So they were asking to be on the wrong side of a dramatic ending and Oladipo obliged with his cold-blooded 3-ball.

“I smoked the layup, that’s what it comes down to,” Irving said. “The games have been going like that recently [missing easy shots] until those few shots that are wide open start going down and we feel good about ourselves.”

Two of the Celtics three losses are by 4 combined points, so they’re playing respectable basketball about 11 percent into the season. But they aren’t helping themselves with their reluctance to attack the basket, especially Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward, who played nearly 59 combined minutes Saturday without attempting a free throw.


Bojan Bogdanovic attempted five in a little more than 23 minutes.

“We have to continue to attack the paint; we have to continue to use fakes in there to get to the line,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “What we can’t have happen is get our shots blocked at the rim and let them go the other way in transition, that kills you. If you look at it, our threes aren’t the problem as much as our 2-point shooting and the fact that we’re not strong enough around the rim. Hopefully we can get a little bit better in those regard as a team.

“Our 2-point shooting is making the most concerning thing.”

The reality is the Celtics are the second-worst shooting team in the NBA, only better than the Orlando Magic. And they are 17th in the league in 3-point shooting, meaning the Celtics are failing at the basic, old-fashioned 2-point shot.

In a league where the 3-pointer has become the preferred method of scoring, where 7-footer Aron Baynes has become a legitimate long-range threat, 2-point shots still hold significance. And if the Celtics are going to miss 2-pointers, at least they need to get to the free throw line.


They are doing neither.

“For the majority of the game, I think we got pretty good shots,” Irving said. “Especially in the first quarter, we should have had 50, easy, or 40 at least. Starting off the game missing as many 3s as we did, they kept it pretty close. Just having those moments where we have a few possessions where we’re not as engaged can affect us but it will translate going forward.”

The fact is, without a bona fide post presence, the Celtics are not going to get to the free throw line as much as their opponents. On Saturday, there were several calls they just didn’t get from officials. Including a couple of sequences in the second half where Domantas Sabonis visibly pushed off on strongman Baynes and yet got the foul call when Baynes didn’t give up position.

Irving made reference to Cory Joseph being on his back during that pivotal layup miss in the final seconds while Marcus Morris played 32 minutes, attempted 13 shots and attempted one free throw.

“It’s a tough [situation],” Morris said. “I’m not going to sit up here and badger the referees. I mentioned it to them during the game. [The Pacers] got a couple benefit-of-doubt whistles. It happens man, when you’re at home and your crowd is into the game. We just got to focus on getting into the basket a little more and hopefully it will change for us.”

When asked if the Celtics are hesitating in attacking the basket because they fear not getting calls, Morris said: “Attacking the basket is more to create for everybody else. You want to get the foul but for a guy like me, I’m so under control and getting in there and create and hope to bring the defense. But nine free throws is really unacceptable, especially when they shoot [25].”

In order to become a great team, the Celtics are either going to have to 1) become more proficient in hitting shots or 2) get to the free throw line more often or 3) both.

Until then they will grind offensively and struggle to win on nights like these when they leave themselves no margin for error on defense.



bob


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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by mrkleen09 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:08 am

bobheckler wrote:
In order to become a great team, the Celtics are either going to have to 1) become more proficient in hitting shots or 2) get to the free throw line more often or 3) both.

In other news - some days are wet, some days are dry - and some days, it is a bit of both.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by dbrown4 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:25 pm

When you are launching more 3's, in particular open threes, no one is going to foul you and you aren't going to the FT line. So if you aren't going to the FT line, you have to make it up in either open jumpers, lay ups or more 3's. Yet somehow, we are 6-3 and the games we have lost we have all been in to the end and could have/should have won. What else am I missing? Agreed mrkleen09

On to bigger things...DEN up next.

db
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:35 pm

It drove me nuts the other night, they should have been driving to the basket more. Jason Tatum has not been finishing off at the basket as well as last year, but that will come, I am sure of that.
We should have won that game, but, it's over now, and like you said, onto Denver. This will be another tough test. I believe we will see an aggressive Celtics team out there tonight, Saturday nights loss stung

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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by dbrown4 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:47 pm

Rosalie,

I just wish they had won vs. IND going into DEN instead of losing the first game of the road trip. Now there is a slight bit of desperation of going down 0-2. Hopefully that fear will be the ticket to get them back on track.

db
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by dbrown4 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:58 pm

My reference chart shows the league FG% for 2 pointers is 46%.  This report says Celtics are shooting "just" 46.9% from inside the arc?  You're not going to get much better than that.  Not really sure about that comment!

db
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by swish on Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:26 pm

dbrown4 wrote:My reference chart shows the league FG% for 2 pointers is 46%.  This report says Celtics are shooting "just" 46.9% from inside the arc?  You're not going to get much better than that.  Not really sure about that comment!

db


dbrown

That 46% figure is for FIELD GOAL percentage - the 2p% as of today is 51.6%.

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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by mrkleen09 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:38 pm

The NBA Average 3PA for 2018 season to date is 31.36 per game
Celtics are averaging 37.3 per game

League average 3FG% is 35.3%
Celtics are averaging 35.7%

So they are shooting 6 more 3 pointers per game and even after a number of bad shooting nights, they are shooting at slightly better than the league average % wise.

Patience people.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by swish on Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:21 pm

mrkleen09 wrote:The NBA Average 3PA for 2018 season to date is  31.36 per game
Celtics are averaging 37.3 per game

League average 3FG% is 35.3%
Celtics are averaging 35.7%

So they are shooting 6 more 3 pointers per game and even after a number of bad shooting nights, they are shooting at slightly better than the league average % wise.

Patience people.  

mrkleen09

The problem for me is not our comparison vs the average, it's our comparison against the Warriors. The Celtic are averaging .357 on 3p attempts and .469 on 2p attempts this year - last year .377 on 3p attempts and.491 0n 2p attempts. The Warriors this year are at .414 on 3p attempts and .580 on 2p attempts - last year they averaged .391 on 3p attempts and .560 on 2p attempts. The warriors are an outstanding shooting team - perhaps it all comes from Kerr who was a great 3 point shooter with the bulls in the nineties.

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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by NYCelt on Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:56 pm

Are The Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Not if they make 'em.

(Too soon to worry about this.)
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by dboss on Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:57 pm

Swish has made great reference to the gold standard in the NBA.  The GSW.  I have a few other comments to make.

There is no doubt at all in my mind that Boston is taking too many 3 point shots relative to total shots taken per game.

I think to understand this better is to consider other sports like football.  A viable run game opens up more opportunities to pass and an efficient passing game opens up more opportunities to run.

The Celtics have several players on this team that can take you off the dribble and also shoot the long ball.  However unless you probe the defense to search out opportunities to drive the ball your offense will be one dimensional.  The diversity of the GSW offense is one of the things that makes them the most efficient offensive team in the NBA.

The Celtics are trending in the right direction in terms of 3PFG percentage.  I think they have the talent to be around 40%. However,  the threat to drive the ball to the hoop will open up even better looks from the arc.  The Celtics are just settling for the long ball and often they take those shots early in the shot clock before they search out even better shots.  Free throw shooting is a function of offensive in and around the paint and we have several guys who are excellent free throw shooters that can also get to the rim.  Guys like Tatum, Morris, Hayward and Irving can all score at a high percentage on 2 pointers and if fouled they are going to make the other team pay.

The GSW average 32 out of 89 shots from deep or 36%  Last year they put up 28 3 pointers and the year before that they shot 31 3 pointers.

They have maintained a good balance between shooting the 3 ball and getting quality 2 point opportunities.

The Celtics are the best defensive team in the NBA but they have a very long way to go on offense.  

I think they have the ability to become a top offensive team but you can not be great without diversity.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by mrkleen09 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:03 pm

swish wrote:

mrkleen09

 The problem for me is not our comparison vs the average, it's our comparison against the Warriors. The Celtic are averaging .357 on 3p attempts and .469 on 2p attempts this year - last year .377 on 3p attempts and.491 0n 2p attempts. The Warriors this year are at .414 on 3p attempts and .580 on 2p attempts - last year they averaged .391 on 3p attempts and .560 on 2p attempts. The warriors are an outstanding shooting team - perhaps it all comes from Kerr who was a great 3 point shooter with the bulls in the nineties.

  swish

I understand Swish and you make a good point. The problem is you are comparing a finished product, with a work in progress.

Once Jaylen and Tatum become more consistent, they will drive more as per their skillset. Same with Hayward. All is well.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by swish on Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:17 pm

mrkleen09 wrote:
swish wrote:  

mrkleen09

 The problem for me is not our comparison vs the average, it's our comparison against the Warriors. The Celtic are averaging .357 on 3p attempts and .469 on 2p attempts this year - last year .377 on 3p attempts and.491 0n 2p attempts. The Warriors this year are at .414 on 3p attempts and .580 on 2p attempts - last year they averaged .391 on 3p attempts and .560 on 2p attempts. The warriors are an outstanding shooting team - perhaps it all comes from Kerr who was a great 3 point shooter with the bulls in the nineties.

  swish

I understand Swish and you make a good point.  The problem is you are comparing a finished product, with a work in progress.

Once Jaylen and Tatum become more consistent, they will drive more as per their skillset.  Same with Hayward.  All is well.

I hear you mrkleen - and I too am looking to the long term future for this team - but in the meantime I'll stick to evaluating on a year by year basis - and our young team is certainly up against an outstanding group of veteran gunners this year. I'll be hoping for the best.

  swish

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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by fierce on Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:54 am

The future is now!

Al Horford is getting old.

Celts were just one game away from the NBA Finals last season.
Hard to believe that the Celts are still 2-3 years away from being a championship team.

Jaylen Brown is already in his 3rd year in the NBA.
How many more years?

The Celts are supposed to be better this year because Hayward's back.
But after 10 games, this Celtics team is clearly flawed.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by k_j_88 on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:04 am

More 3s isn't the answer. We're doing literally nothing to soften the defense or get to the foul line. We don't need patience, we need better offense that's not so predictable.


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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by fierce on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:23 am

k_j_88 wrote:More 3s isn't the answer. We're doing literally nothing to soften the defense or get to the foul line. We don't need patience, we need better offense that's not so predictable.


Kj

Exactly!

All the Celts are doing now is jack up 3s.

Nugs went to the FT line 28 times while the Celts only attempted 12 FTs.

Celts need someone like Paul Pierce.

Settling for 3s will result in an early playoff exit.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by fierce on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:28 am

Horford is getting 28m per year and he's only averaging 12.4 ppg.

Hayward is getting 32m per year and he's only averaging 10.1 ppg.

And we don't lack star power?

If the Celts can't beat teams led by Oladipo or Jamal Murray, how can the Celts keep up with GSW.

Even Toronto is way better than the Celts right now.

The Celts have a big problem right now and patience is not the solution.

All patience in the world will not help the Celts if all the Celts do is jack up 3s every game.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:12 am

Lmao these comments are funny!!!

All I’ll say is it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I love the makeup of this team, these losses are good for us.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by mrkleen09 on Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:26 am

cowens/oldschool wrote:Lmao these comments are funny!!!

All I’ll say is it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I love the makeup of this team, these losses are good for us.

I have already unsubscribed from 5 threads today. Fierce is sucking all the fun out of this board. Sam would not be happy.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by dboss on Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:51 am

mrkleen09 wrote:
cowens/oldschool wrote:Lmao these comments are funny!!!

All I’ll say is it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I love the makeup of this team, these losses are good for us.

I have already unsubscribed from 5 threads today.  Fierce is sucking all the fun out of this board.  Sam would not be happy.

Kleen

Are we going to have to deal with this crap after every game?

The same narratives under every thread all aimed at promoting one poster's view. I say make your point and move on. I am not going to let fierce or anyone else sell me on the false assertions that the Celtics are a flawed team or that we are somehow in dire need of an upgrade or that after 10 games anyone can or should be so informed.

message to fierce... is this necessary? All of us are acutely aware that the Celtics are not even close to becoming a finished product and it has nothing at all to do with the makeup of this roster. And most reasonable observers who for years have watched the development of team chemistry went into this year with a high degree of optimism and an understanding that the pie is still backing in the oven.

Take a step back my friend and consider how your negative energy impacts others that have a positive outlook.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:59 am

Don’t worry we are not getting Jimmy Butler, he’s digging his own grave by being a diva that picks which games he plays. Can’t believe management puts up with that. Does he think rest of league doesn’t notice this?

And no one would be stupid enough to trade Jaylen Brown and Rozier for JJ Redick, yes he really suggested that would help our team....I find his comments mildly amusing, delusional and pathetic.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by swish on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:41 am

Since it's quite possible that fierce is certain that his opinions on this subject are very accurate - those that are possitive that he is wrong - might try ignoring his post on this subject - and let time provide the answer.

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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by dboss on Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:06 pm

swish wrote:Since it's quite possible that fierce is certain that his opinions on this subject are very accurate - those that are possitive that he is wrong - might try ignoring his post on this subject - and let time provide the answer.

 swish

Swish

The only certainty is that the season is young and therefore it is impossible to drawn any statistical inference from a small sample size. It assumes that the current level of play by Boston is a constant that can accurately project out to 82 games.

I guess we tend to engage one another on this forum and it is difficult to isolate anyone unless they are abusive. Fierce has not been abusive and has in fact been convivial.

However I do agree with you that time will provide the answer.
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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by swish on Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:51 pm

dboss                                                                                                                                                        
        Convivial yes - but when both sides are miles apart it's time to call it a day.

    swish

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Re: Are the Celtics relying too much on the 3-pointer?

Post by Phil Pressey on Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:25 pm

(sorry, wrong thread)


Last edited by Phil Pressey on Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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