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Sunday, May 27, 2012
Living and dying by the jumper

By Chris Forsberg


BOSTON -- Much was made about how the Boston Celtics might have gotten too jumper happy during a Game 6 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Well, as coach Doc Rivers loves to point out, it's a make/miss league and, when those shots actually fall for Boston, they look like a decidedly different team.

Consider this from ESPN Stats and Information: The Celtics shot a whopping 77.8 percent (7 of 9) from 15 feet and beyond in the fourth quarter of Game 7, their highest percentage of any quarter this postseason. The Celtics entered the final frame shooting a mere 32.5 percent from 15+ feet in this series, including 17.2 percent (5 of 29) over the first three quarters of Game 7.


Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett each made a pair of buckets over 15 feet in the fourth quarter during Game 7. Rondo's might have been the most surprising of that bunch, given his much-scrutinized jump shot.

ESPN Stats and Info showcases just how rare it was for Rondo to make two long-distance shots, noting that Rondo hadn't previously made a single shot from 23 feet or beyond in the fourth quarter of any game this season (he was 0 for 9 on those shots, including the playoffs, prior to Game 7). What's more, Saturday's tilt was the first time in Rondo's entire career (regular season and playoffs) in which he made two shots from 23 feet and beyond in the fourth quarter (he was previously 12 for 67 overall, 17.9 percent).