Thursday, May 12, 2011
Stats analysis: Looking back and forward
By ESPN Stats & Information
Some facts and figures from the Celtics' playoff ouster by the Heat and a look at what the future holds for the team:
• This is the first time in the Pierce/Allen/Garnett era that the Celtics lost a playoff series in fewer than 7 games.
• Making major roster changes to the Celtics won’t be as easy as it sounds. Most of the regulars are under contract for at least another season with the Celtics. Glen Davis is the only one whose contract ends this season. Barring a significant trade or free agent signing, it appears that they’ll make a run next year with the same group.
• Since the “Big 3” joined Boston for the 2007-08 season, the Celtics have clearly been the class of the East, and along with the Lakers, the NBA.
• A playoff series deficit never seemed to faze the Celtics...until this series. Entering this series, the Celtics had a perfect 7-0 record in the Pierce/Allen/Garnett era in playoff games where they took the floor trailing in the series. But against the Heat, they went 1-3.
• The core of the Celtics may be getting too old to realistically contend for a title. Boston was not the oldest team in the NBA this season, but it did have the oldest “core” group. The trio of Allen, Garnett and Pierce had the oldest combined age for the top 3 scorers on any team.
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• But when it came to plus/minus, the Celtics “Big 3” didn’t look so old this season, ranking 2nd to only the Heat trio.
• A big issue in the series with Miami and all season for Boston has been performance in the 4th quarter. Boston struggled all season in the final quarter, perhaps due in some part to having older, tired players come end game.
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• In the 4th quarter and overtime in Games 4 & 5, the Miami Heat's Big 3 dominated the Celtics veteran trio to pull out a pair of close games to win the series. The Heat's Big 3 outscored their Boston counterparts 52-13. In fact, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh scored 52 of Miami's 55 points in this time frame, with James Jones' huge 3-pointer late in Game 5 being the only other points scored.
• Another sign of age has been the Celtics struggles as the season goes on. Each year with the “Big 3” Boston has busted out of the gate, but struggled a little in the season’s second half.