|Posted by shawn cassidy on March 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM|
On Tuesday, the Celtics finished 27-of-66 shooting (40.9 percent) and mustered a mere 28 second-half points (although much of the fourth quarter featured a lineup with the Chinese Basketball Association All-Stars in recently added Terrence Williams, DJ White and Shavlik Randolph). Regardless, Boston struggled to generate consistent offense and it was hard not to notice who wasn't on the floor.
Rivers often describes Pierce as a professional scorer and games like this show just how much he means to Boston's offense. Even at his age, Pierce is far and away Boston's best offensive option and the team simply struggles when he's not on the court.
To hammer that home: The Celtics have averaged 101.9 points per 100 possessions in the 2,109 minutes Pierce has been on the floor this season. That number plummets to 96.3 in the 995 minutes he's been on the bench. What's more, Boston's team shooting numbers are remarkably higher when Pierce is on the court (46.7 FG%, 36.3 3PT%, 54.5 true shooting percentage) versus when he's not (44 FG%, 31.7 3PT%, 51.2 true shooting). Then there's the bottom line: Boston is plus-76 with Pierce on the floor, minus-88 when he's off.
The Celtics offensive flow seems to be on Pierce's shoulders, especially with Rondo gone. After starting the first 62 games of the season Pierce got his first night off. This game showed us that Pierce holds the offensive together like glue, much like KG with defense. Without Paul Pierce, the Celtics looked like a team that resembled the Bobcats. This was a trap game, maybe? The Celtics didn't respect their opponent. The Celtics offense has been limited in the past two games. They scored 79 Sunday against the Thunder, and just 74 Tuesday against the Bobcats. The Celtics only shot 37% from the field Sunday, and 40% Tuesday. The offensive slump seems to be the latest focus. The Celtics need to get their act together quick, or they'll be in trouble.
Categories: Celtics By The Numbers