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Post by bobheckler on Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:51 pm

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/sudden-celtics-offensive-juggernaut-051228407.html




All of a sudden, Celtics are offensive juggernaut



Chris Forsberg,NBC Sports Boston
13 hours ago



BOSTON - In the final moments of a perfunctory fourth quarter, as the Boston Celtics' completed their demolition of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, Boston rookie Robert Williams took a pass in the lane, dunked hard with two hands, then hung on the rim for a brief moment, if only to expel some velocity before returning to Earth's orbit.

Referee John Goble assessed a quick-trigger technical, which seemed more like a scolding for the way the Celtics' offense was unrelenting, making the scoreboard operator earn his paycheck during a 135-108 triumph at TD Garden.

One hundred, thirty five points. For a Celtics team that seemed to miss the memo about the NBA's offensive explosion at the start of the season, that's a jarring number. To do it against the second-best defense in the NBA - albeit one playing on the second night of a back-to-back and without game-changing big man Myles Turner - was even more astounding.

Maybe Boston's recent offensive eruptions shouldn't surprise us anymore. Maybe crisp ball movement culminating with made shots shouldn't shock us. But it's simply staggering how far these Celtics have come in such a short period of time.

Back in late November, just a short time after Kyrie Irving cussed out Thanksgiving, the Celtics sat 27th in the NBA with an anemic offensive rating of 104.6. Their offensive inconsistencies contributed to Boston's 10-10 record over those first 20 games and, if not for some very good defense, it could have been a lot worse when you consider the three teams behind Boston in offensive efficiency at that point were a combined 13-46 (.220 winning percentage).But on Nov. 26, with injuries forcing his hand a bit, Celtics coach Brad Stevens elevated Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris to starting roles in hopes of providing the energy jolt the Celtics so clearly needed. Even Stevens probably couldn't have anticipated what has happened since.Over the last 20 games, Boston owns the NBA's top offensive rating in averaging 117.4 points per 100 possessions. That's 2 points better than their nearest competition (the James Harden-fueled Rockets) in that span. It's also 3.7 points better than the Golden State Warriors' NBA-leading offensive rating of 113.7 for the season.

CHART: TALE OF TWO QUARTERS
The Celtics have turned their offense around the past 20 games.  A look at the key numbers (with NBA rank in parentheses):                     ..............................First 20 games.........Last 20 games
Offensive rating------104.6 (27th)----------117.4 (1st)
Points per game------106.3 (24th)----------118.7 (1st)
Assists per game-----24.3 (11th)-----------28.4 (1st)
Record----------------10-10-----------------15-5


During the early part of the season, it felt like the Celtics jumped on Irving's back and asked him to keep them afloat with Irving seemingly the only player immune to Boston's offensive woes earlier in the year.On Wednesday night, Irving got a breezy fourth quarter. He could have kicked his feet up, instead he stood for much of the quarter to celebrate everything from Williams' volleyball-style blocks to Semi Ojeleye's Eurostep layup. For the first time this season, it feels like the Celtics are clicking on nearly all cylinders, putting at least seven players in double figures each of the past two games.And Irving is having fun being a spectator at times."Real fun," said Irving. "Making shots helps, helps cover up a lot of mistakes. But we're just playing extremely well off the ball. On the ball making good decisions. Just the ball's not sticking. Guys are getting to spots and making the most out of their opportunities when they get it. So just creating for one another and just making the right pass."It sounds so simple but for much of the first quarter of the season, the Celtics fought themselves. There were obvious growing pains reintegrating a healthy Irving and Gordon Hayward, while younger players struggled to identify and embrace their new reduced roles. When shots didn't fall, heads hung, and Boston routinely endured the sort of lapses that contributed to a .500 start.But the past month-plus has delivered some exquisite basketball. Smart didn't just infuse energy, he brought the first unit a player who was happier to facilitate than fight for shots (though his increased 3-point efficiency has certainly aided the Celtics at times as well). Morris has played his way into All-Star consideration regardless of his role and now, finally, the rest of the roster is catching up.Hayward is showing more confidence, more aggression. Jaylen Brown knows good things happen when he attacks the basket. Tatum can have stretches like the start of the Indiana game where he just dominates with his length and touch.Impossibly, the Celtics are now an offensive juggernaut. In 45 days they've gone from lingering on the basement steps to clawing their way into the top 10 in offensive rating. Boston now sits ninth overall with an offensive rating of 110.9 for the season.So what in the world got into these Celtics?"When we're making shots and we're continuing to make each other better and making those plays that we weren't making at the beginning of the season, just trusting one another in specific positions in our offense," said Irving. "At this point I feel like we're very comfortable in what we're running, and guys being in specific spots, and opportunities that we can take advantage of, and passes being delivered on time, and just caring about the pass and caring about your teammate making a shot. "So everything we talked about at the beginning of the season, I feel like it's translating now as we continue to get to know one another. Meat of the season right now and you can tell that our team is just feeling really good being around each other. And it's totally different in terms of how we feel out there. It's just really positive. And when I don't have to go out there and score 30 it's cool with me. I probably won't have to score 30 until we play one of the best teams in the league - if any - [or] until the playoffs. So I'm happy about that."Irving wasn't always happy. But he was unfailingly patient. Asked about the well-publicized team meeting in December, he admitted, "We could pinpoint a lot of turning points. … We weren't at rock bottom but we needed to address some s--- in this locker room." It didn't cause the offensive turnaround but it didn't hinder maybe the final step in that process, with younger players starting to accept their smaller roles.Is this sort of offensive production sustainable? Probably not. And Boston would be well-served to tighten up a defense that has tended to slip a bit whenever the offense is thriving (the absence of players like big man Aron Baynes hasn't helped either).But a four-game winning streak leaves Boston feeling some good vibes. The offense is clicking and players are able to operate more freely, not lingering on what isn't going right like they did earlier this season."As you can see, we're having a lot of fun - especially when you win," said Tatum. "So if we just keep winning, we'll keep having fun."



bob



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Post by swish on Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:58 pm

Nice research by Forsberg to show the big turnaround in the offense over the first 20 games.  On offense Brad has bought into the Warrior 3 point craze and things have certainly gone well over the last 20 games - as 3 point shooting over the last 20 games is up from .342 (20th) to.368 (6th). in addition 2 point shooting is up .497 (24th) to .523 (11th). Now if Brown and Tatum were to play back reasonably close to last years EFG numbers - this team might even be the favorite to win it all ( subject to the sucess of Cousins who is scheduled to return on the 16th of January).   No need to worry about the rebounding - Great shooting can more than cancel out poor rebounding (Witness the warriors over the last four years - 24th,10th, 13th and16th in rebounding percentage.

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Last edited by swish on Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : change last to first)

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Post by wideclyde on Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:43 pm

Moving the ball much better to players who are also moving much better is the answer to the offensive improvement. Assists are up dramatically so there are far more uncontested (or, at least more lightly contested shots) and we all know that shots that don't get defended well are easier to make.

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Post by steve3344 on Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:26 am

bobheckler wrote:https://www.yahoo.com/sports/sudden-celtics-offensive-juggernaut-051228407.html




All of a sudden, Celtics are offensive juggernaut



Chris Forsberg,NBC Sports Boston
13 hours ago



BOSTON - In the final moments of a perfunctory fourth quarter, as the Boston Celtics' completed their demolition of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, Boston rookie Robert Williams took a pass in the lane, dunked hard with two hands, then hung on the rim for a brief moment, if only to expel some velocity before returning to Earth's orbit.

Referee John Goble assessed a quick-trigger technical, which seemed more like a scolding for the way the Celtics' offense was unrelenting, making the scoreboard operator earn his paycheck during a 135-108 triumph at TD Garden.

One hundred, thirty five points. For a Celtics team that seemed to miss the memo about the NBA's offensive explosion at the start of the season, that's a jarring number. To do it against the second-best defense in the NBA - albeit one playing on the second night of a back-to-back and without game-changing big man Myles Turner - was even more astounding.

Maybe Boston's recent offensive eruptions shouldn't surprise us anymore. Maybe crisp ball movement culminating with made shots shouldn't shock us. But it's simply staggering how far these Celtics have come in such a short period of time.

Back in late November, just a short time after Kyrie Irving cussed out Thanksgiving, the Celtics sat 27th in the NBA with an anemic offensive rating of 104.6. Their offensive inconsistencies contributed to Boston's 10-10 record over those first 20 games and, if not for some very good defense, it could have been a lot worse when you consider the three teams behind Boston in offensive efficiency at that point were a combined 13-46 (.220 winning percentage).But on Nov. 26, with injuries forcing his hand a bit, Celtics coach Brad Stevens elevated Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris to starting roles in hopes of providing the energy jolt the Celtics so clearly needed. Even Stevens probably couldn't have anticipated what has happened since.Over the last 20 games, Boston owns the NBA's top offensive rating in averaging 117.4 points per 100 possessions. That's 2 points better than their nearest competition (the James Harden-fueled Rockets) in that span. It's also 3.7 points better than the Golden State Warriors' NBA-leading offensive rating of 113.7 for the season.

CHART: TALE OF TWO QUARTERS
The Celtics have turned their offense around the past 20 games.  A look at the key numbers (with NBA rank in parentheses):                     ..............................First 20 games.........Last 20 games
Offensive rating------104.6 (27th)----------117.4 (1st)
Points per game------106.3 (24th)----------118.7 (1st)
Assists per game-----24.3 (11th)-----------28.4 (1st)
Record----------------10-10-----------------15-5


During the early part of the season, it felt like the Celtics jumped on Irving's back and asked him to keep them afloat with Irving seemingly the only player immune to Boston's offensive woes earlier in the year.On Wednesday night, Irving got a breezy fourth quarter. He could have kicked his feet up, instead he stood for much of the quarter to celebrate everything from Williams' volleyball-style blocks to Semi Ojeleye's Eurostep layup. For the first time this season, it feels like the Celtics are clicking on nearly all cylinders, putting at least seven players in double figures each of the past two games.And Irving is having fun being a spectator at times."Real fun," said Irving. "Making shots helps, helps cover up a lot of mistakes. But we're just playing extremely well off the ball. On the ball making good decisions. Just the ball's not sticking. Guys are getting to spots and making the most out of their opportunities when they get it. So just creating for one another and just making the right pass."It sounds so simple but for much of the first quarter of the season, the Celtics fought themselves. There were obvious growing pains reintegrating a healthy Irving and Gordon Hayward, while younger players struggled to identify and embrace their new reduced roles. When shots didn't fall, heads hung, and Boston routinely endured the sort of lapses that contributed to a .500 start.But the past month-plus has delivered some exquisite basketball. Smart didn't just infuse energy, he brought the first unit a player who was happier to facilitate than fight for shots (though his increased 3-point efficiency has certainly aided the Celtics at times as well). Morris has played his way into All-Star consideration regardless of his role and now, finally, the rest of the roster is catching up.Hayward is showing more confidence, more aggression. Jaylen Brown knows good things happen when he attacks the basket. Tatum can have stretches like the start of the Indiana game where he just dominates with his length and touch.Impossibly, the Celtics are now an offensive juggernaut. In 45 days they've gone from lingering on the basement steps to clawing their way into the top 10 in offensive rating. Boston now sits ninth overall with an offensive rating of 110.9 for the season.So what in the world got into these Celtics?"When we're making shots and we're continuing to make each other better and making those plays that we weren't making at the beginning of the season, just trusting one another in specific positions in our offense," said Irving. "At this point I feel like we're very comfortable in what we're running, and guys being in specific spots, and opportunities that we can take advantage of, and passes being delivered on time, and just caring about the pass and caring about your teammate making a shot. "So everything we talked about at the beginning of the season, I feel like it's translating now as we continue to get to know one another. Meat of the season right now and you can tell that our team is just feeling really good being around each other. And it's totally different in terms of how we feel out there. It's just really positive. And when I don't have to go out there and score 30 it's cool with me. I probably won't have to score 30 until we play one of the best teams in the league - if any - [or] until the playoffs. So I'm happy about that."Irving wasn't always happy. But he was unfailingly patient. Asked about the well-publicized team meeting in December, he admitted, "We could pinpoint a lot of turning points. … We weren't at rock bottom but we needed to address some s--- in this locker room." It didn't cause the offensive turnaround but it didn't hinder maybe the final step in that process, with younger players starting to accept their smaller roles.Is this sort of offensive production sustainable? Probably not. And Boston would be well-served to tighten up a defense that has tended to slip a bit whenever the offense is thriving (the absence of players like big man Aron Baynes hasn't helped either).But a four-game winning streak leaves Boston feeling some good vibes. The offense is clicking and players are able to operate more freely, not lingering on what isn't going right like they did earlier this season."As you can see, we're having a lot of fun - especially when you win," said Tatum. "So if we just keep winning, we'll keep having fun."



bob



.

The jugger was naut last night in Miami.

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Post by dboss on Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:00 am

All of a sudden a juggernaut?

Forsberg's assessment is  accurate based on the data presented but unfortunately it falls far short with necessary qualifications.  This juggernaut in scoring was built by in large on an 8 game winning streak against 8 teams as well as the 3 recent wins against Minn, Dallas and Crooklyn.  So 11 out of those 20 games were against really bad teams.  

I do not see that as a juggernaut offense.  As a matter of fact go ahead and exclude out those 8 marvelous games.  The last 13 games since then Boston is 7-6 with one win against a quality opponents (Indiana)

Chris talks about the great shooting but last year Boston shot .377% from deep.  At .367 this year while a big improvement over the first 20 games, was built on a house of cards.  It is a lot easier to shoot when no one defends you.  A lot of bad teams in those 20 games.

I am very pleased with the way Boston has dominated on offense against teams that the are supposed to beat but until they are able to do that against quality competition I am far from being convinced that Boston is anything but a soft team that preys on the weak but is easily bullied when faced with real competition.
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Post by swish on Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:22 am

Thus far this year the Celts are 1 of 8 teams that is playing .610 ball or better. The Celtics are 6 and 4 against 6 of those teams - they haven't played the 7th team yet (Golden State). Looks to me like they have done ok against some decent competition.

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Post by dboss on Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:49 pm

swish wrote:Thus far this year the Celts are 1 of 8 teams that is playing .610 ball or better. The Celtics are 6 and 4 against 6 of those teams - they haven't played the 7th team yet (Golden State). Looks to me like they have done ok against some decent competition.

   swish

Swish

I have to disagree with you although I cannot really argue with the statistics you presented.  Your are using a winning percentage of .610 which is the Celtics winning percentage.  Today it is .610 and if they lose the next game it goes down to .595 .  .595 is an interesting winning percentage within the context of your 6-4 success rate.  I am not sure I would exclude Portland at  .595 who beat Boston or SA and Houston both of whom beat them decisively or for that matter the Clippers.  These teams are all within one or two games of playing .610 ball and Houston and SA in particular have been trending into contender status.

If you exclude them you may actually be missing the reality of the Celtics games against them and in general how they play against the better teams.  I definitely include Houston and SA among the best teams.   I think a less micro look at quality wins provides a much clearer picture.  SA and Houston are 15-10 and 15-11 vs .500 and above and Boston is 6-10.    What's revealing is that during that so-called 20 game juggernaut SA and Houston demolished Boston.  Those were recent losses.

I'm  giving Forsberg a B+ in effort and a C- in content because he totally overlooks critical factors in his juggernaut declaration.

My hope is the Boston will find a way to play the right way against the better teams.  There is a reason why they remain in 5th place half way through the season.  Us Celtics fans with our designer green colored glasses did not see that other teams improved their quality as well as we did.
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Post by swish on Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:39 pm

dboss wrote:
swish wrote:Thus far this year the Celts are 1 of 8 teams that is playing .610 ball or better. The Celtics are 6 and 4 against 6 of those teams - they haven't played the 7th team yet (Golden State). Looks to me like they have done ok against some decent competition.

   swish

Swish

I have to disagree with you although I cannot really argue with the statistics you presented.  Your are using a winning percentage of .610 which is the Celtics winning percentage.  Today it is .610 and if they lose the next game it goes down to .595 .  .595 is an interesting winning percentage within the context of your 6-4 success rate.  I am not sure I would exclude Portland at  .595 who beat Boston or SA and Houston both of whom beat them decisively or for that matter the Clippers.  These teams are all within one or two games of playing .610 ball and Houston and SA in particular have been trending into contender status.

If you exclude them you may actually be missing the reality of the Celtics games against them and in general how they play against the better teams.  I definitely include Houston and SA among the best teams.   I think a less micro look at quality wins provides a much clearer picture.  SA and Houston are 15-10 and 15-11 vs .500 and above and Boston is 6-10.    What's revealing is that during that so-called 20 game juggernaut SA and Houston demolished Boston.  Those were recent losses.

I'm  giving Forsberg a B+ in effort and a C- in content because he totally overlooks critical factors in his juggernaut declaration.

My hope is the Boston will find a way to play the right way against the better teams.  There is a reason why they remain in 5th place half way through the season.  Us Celtics fans with our designer green colored glasses did not see that other teams improved their quality as well as we did.

Of course they have lost games to teams with worst records but by the same token against the best teams they certainly have not been a bust. This Celtic team right now is far from being a classic super team but is quite capable of being a very serious contender for a ring - and yet it seems as though the opinions about this team change almost on a daily basis - based on each win or loss. With half the season left the roller coaster ride is likely to continue.

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Post by dboss on Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:52 pm

swish wrote:
dboss wrote:
swish wrote:Thus far this year the Celts are 1 of 8 teams that is playing .610 ball or better. The Celtics are 6 and 4 against 6 of those teams - they haven't played the 7th team yet (Golden State). Looks to me like they have done ok against some decent competition.

   swish

Swish

I have to disagree with you although I cannot really argue with the statistics you presented.  Your are using a winning percentage of .610 which is the Celtics winning percentage.  Today it is .610 and if they lose the next game it goes down to .595 .  .595 is an interesting winning percentage within the context of your 6-4 success rate.  I am not sure I would exclude Portland at  .595 who beat Boston or SA and Houston both of whom beat them decisively or for that matter the Clippers.  These teams are all within one or two games of playing .610 ball and Houston and SA in particular have been trending into contender status.

If you exclude them you may actually be missing the reality of the Celtics games against them and in general how they play against the better teams.  I definitely include Houston and SA among the best teams.   I think a less micro look at quality wins provides a much clearer picture.  SA and Houston are 15-10 and 15-11 vs .500 and above and Boston is 6-10.    What's revealing is that during that so-called 20 game juggernaut SA and Houston demolished Boston.  Those were recent losses.

I'm  giving Forsberg a B+ in effort and a C- in content because he totally overlooks critical factors in his juggernaut declaration.

My hope is the Boston will find a way to play the right way against the better teams.  There is a reason why they remain in 5th place half way through the season.  Us Celtics fans with our designer green colored glasses did not see that other teams improved their quality as well as we did.

Of course they have lost games to teams with worst records but by the same token against the best teams they certainly have not been a bust. This Celtic team right now is far from being a classic super team but is quite capable of being a very serious contender for a ring - and yet it seems as though the opinions about this team change almost on a daily basis - based on each win or loss. With half the season left the roller coaster ride is likely to continue.

 swish

 

Sorry Swish but you are one of the absolute best guys at statistics. I cannot let you off the hook that easy. You are way to smart too be thrown back into the water

The point I was making is that those so called losses to teams with worse records were not really worse teams. Your stats need to survive another loss by Boston which would put them at .595 otherwise today they look ok against some decent competition and tomorrow if they loss one game they may not.

Okay let me try another way to explain my point (you cannot exclude losses to teams like SA and Houston) They have both played stiffer competition than Boston.

Over the past 20 games SA has beaten some pretty good teams and Boston has not. SA has beaten 7 quality team including Jazz (included only because they beat Celtics asses twice), Clippers Philly. Denver. Boston, Toronto, OKC. Houston has beaten Portland, Utah (there they are again) SA, OKC, Boston, GSW and Denver. That's 7 quality wins as well. In the meantime my beloved Celtics have 2 quality win over the same 20 game stretch (Philly and Indiana)

Am I missing something here?

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Post by swish on Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:14 pm

dboss wrote:
swish wrote:
dboss wrote:
swish wrote:Thus far this year the Celts are 1 of 8 teams that is playing .610 ball or better. The Celtics are 6 and 4 against 6 of those teams - they haven't played the 7th team yet (Golden State). Looks to me like they have done ok against some decent competition.

   swish

Swish

I have to disagree with you although I cannot really argue with the statistics you presented.  Your are using a winning percentage of .610 which is the Celtics winning percentage.  Today it is .610 and if they lose the next game it goes down to .595 .  .595 is an interesting winning percentage within the context of your 6-4 success rate.  I am not sure I would exclude Portland at  .595 who beat Boston or SA and Houston both of whom beat them decisively or for that matter the Clippers.  These teams are all within one or two games of playing .610 ball and Houston and SA in particular have been trending into contender status.

If you exclude them you may actually be missing the reality of the Celtics games against them and in general how they play against the better teams.  I definitely include Houston and SA among the best teams.   I think a less micro look at quality wins provides a much clearer picture.  SA and Houston are 15-10 and 15-11 vs .500 and above and Boston is 6-10.    What's revealing is that during that so-called 20 game juggernaut SA and Houston demolished Boston.  Those were recent losses.

I'm  giving Forsberg a B+ in effort and a C- in content because he totally overlooks critical factors in his juggernaut declaration.

My hope is the Boston will find a way to play the right way against the better teams.  There is a reason why they remain in 5th place half way through the season.  Us Celtics fans with our designer green colored glasses did not see that other teams improved their quality as well as we did.

Of course they have lost games to teams with worst records but by the same token against the best teams they certainly have not been a bust. This Celtic team right now is far from being a classic super team but is quite capable of being a very serious contender for a ring - and yet it seems as though the opinions about this team change almost on a daily basis - based on each win or loss. With half the season left the roller coaster ride is likely to continue.

 swish

 

Sorry Swish but you are one of the absolute best guys at statistics.  I cannot let you off the hook that easy.  You are way to smart too be thrown back into the water  

The point I was making is that those so called losses to teams with worse records were not really worse teams.  Your stats need to survive another loss by Boston which would put them at .595 otherwise today they look ok against some decent competition and tomorrow if they loss one game they may not.  

Okay let me try another way to explain my point (you cannot exclude losses to teams like SA and Houston)  They have both played stiffer competition than Boston.  

Over the past 20 games SA has beaten some pretty good teams and Boston has not.  SA has beaten 7 quality team including Jazz (included only because they beat Celtics asses twice), Clippers Philly. Denver. Boston, Toronto, OKC.  Houston has beaten Portland, Utah (there they are again) SA, OKC, Boston, GSW and Denver.  That's 7 quality wins as well.  In the meantime my beloved Celtics have 2 quality win over the same 20 game stretch (Philly and Indiana)  

Am I missing something here?



Your not missing any thing - with so many stats now available - it's all about analytical preferences - which of course can lead to differemt conclusions. Mid season analysis and hasty conclusions are certainly risky at best as a forecast of things to come. but it's fun - so we do it. As to my use of a .610 cutoff (50 wins) - simply a case of a very interesting stat. Only the 1994 Rockets have won a championship with a winning percent of under .610 (thats 1 team out of 38 since 1980-81) But any cut-off line can certainly be an area of serious debate.

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Post by dboss on Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:18 pm

See what I mean. Who the hell but you could find a stat about the 1994 Rockets!
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