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Tuesday, May 8, 2012
CelticsHub: Valuing the ball (for a change)

By Chris Forsberg


Our pal Brian Robb from CelticsHub (a TrueHoop affiliate) takes a look at how Boston has turned around its turnover problems at the start of the postseason:
During four games against Atlanta, the C’s have averaged just 12.5 turnovers per contest [compared to 14.8 per game during the regular season]. Now, that number can be somewhat misleading given the slower pace teams play at in the postseason, but here’s a number which is not. Boston has turned the ball over on just 12.7 percent of its postseason possessions, a substantial drop from its regular season mark of 14.7 percent. That 12.7 number would have placed them among the league’s elite (second place) over a full 66-game season in protecting the ball.

It is a small sample size, but for a team that has languished in the basement of the league in turnover percentage for nearly five years now, that’s nothing to sneeze at, especially in the postseason against a team in Atlanta with a good track record of forcing the issue defensively. So why have the Celtics’ fared so well in this department? Well, it starts with one guy generally, the point guard.

“It starts with me," said Rondo. "I have the ball in my hands a lot and Paul [Pierce] and I communicate a lot throughout the game saying that we need to take care of the ball. So that’s what we have been focused on in this playoff series, taking care of the ball and all five guys crashing the glass."

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