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Irish Coffee: Big Threes, by the numbers
Posted By Ben Rohrbach On November 5, 2010 @ 11:58 am In General | 1 Comment
Wake up with the Celtics  and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
Sports Illustrated ranked  the top 14 trios in the NBA, and the Celtics’ Big Three — Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce  and … Rajon Rondo  (not Ray Allen ) — came in third, behind the Heat’s LeBron James , Dwyane Wade  and Chris Bosh as well as the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant , Pau Gasol  and Lamar Odom.
Personally, I think the Celtics’ top three players are better than the Lakers’ (because of Odom), so I decided to take a look so far at the top-10 Big Threes by the numbers — their cumulative win score  and their average player efficiency rating .
BIG THREE ………………………………………… PER ………. WIN SCORE
Heat (James, Wade, Bosh) ……………………… 20.89 ………….. 4.61
Lakers (Bryant, Gasol, Odom) ………………….. 25.87 …………. 12.06
Celtics (Rondo, Pierce, Garnett) ……………….. 19.34 …………. 10.09
Hawks (Johnson, Horford, Smith) ……………… 20.31 ………….. 6.44
Thunder (Durant, Westbrook, Green) ………….. 19.88 ………….. 1.76
Spurs (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili) ………………. 19.92 ………….. 8.79
*Bulls (Rose, Noah, Deng) ……………………… 20.14 ………….. 5.54
Magic (Howard, Carter, Nelson) ………………… 23. 61 …………. 1.51
Mavericks (Nowitzki, Kidd, Terry) ………………. 22.06 ………….. 9.85
Jazz  (Williams, Jefferson, Millsap) ……………… 20.88 …………. 7.84
(*replaced Boozer with Deng because of injury)
It turns out, through the first two weeks of the season, of the top 10, the Lakers’ Big Three has been the most efficient and the most productive in their victories.
Among the top 10, the C’s Big Three actually has been the least efficient, mainly because of turnovers (9.4 per game). In terms of contributing to wins, though, the Boston trio has been the second-best of the group — because of their unselfishness (21.2 assists per game) and defense (4.6 steals per game).
All this points to one thing: As Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. He turns the ball over (4.0 per game) more than any other Celtic, but he also records more assists (an astounding 16.4 per game) and steals (2.6 per game). What these numbers don’t account for is the fact that Allen is the best fourth banana in the league.
The most surprising result is where the Heat’s Big Three finished in each category. They ranked fourth in efficiency and eighth in win score. Still, they’re 4-1, which means two things: 1) Miami Thrice has yet to learn how to optimize their efficiency together; and 2) they’re supporting cast may not be so bad.
THE ERRORS OF THEIR WAYS
NBA.com’s John Schuhmann took a look  at the league’s top three teams — the Lakers, Celtics and Heat — and how they’re addressing they’re greatest flaws.
The Lakers have jumped from No. 11 last season to No. 1 through five games this season in offense — scoring 114 points per 100 possessions in their 5-0 start.
Last season, the Celtics grabbed 73.8 percent of available defensive rebounds, ranking 13th in the league. This season, the C’s have nabbed 76 percent, ranking fifth through five games. That makes them the fifth most improved rebounding team.
Miami owns the most improved defense in the league, allowing just 87.9 points per game. Considering the Heat have already faced Boston and Orlando, that’s even more impressive. As Schuhmann points out …
Three seasons ago, the Celtics had the best defense of the last 20 seasons, allowing 8.6 points per 100 possessions fewer than the league average. Miami isn’t going to hold its opponents to 14.6 points fewer than the league average all season, but that five-game mark is impressive. In 2007-08, the Celtics had just three five-game stretches where they held their opponents under 88 points per 100 possessions.
Boston’s best defensive five-game stretch came right after Thanksgiving that season, when the Celtics held five opponents to 86.1 points per 100 possessions. They were actually more dominant to start last season, when they were holding their opponents to 85.2 points per 100 possessions after five games and 85.4 after six.
Looking at all these numbers is telling me one thing: Miami is going to be very scary this season. If indeed the Heat’s defense is this good and they’ve yet to maximize their offensive efficiency, they’ll win 65 games — at worst.
THE BEST NUMBER OF ALL
And guess which number finished at the top of the list: No. 33. The Celtics had a player who wore that number. I think his name was Bird.
Here are where the uniform numbers of the current Celtics ranked …
No. 0 Avery Bradley  (44th)
No. 4 Nate Robinson  (6th)
No. 5 Kevin Garnett (18th)
No. 7 Jermaine O’Neal  (22nd)
No. 8 Marquis Daniels  (24th)
No. 9 Rajon Rondo (28th)
No. 11 Glen Davis  (10th)
No. 12 Von Wafer  (11th)
No. 13 Delonte West  (23rd)
No. 20 Ray Allen (17th)
No. 34 Paul Pierce (7th)
No. 36 Shaquille O’Neal  (46th)
No. 43 Kendrick Perkins  (34th)
No. 55 Luke Harangody (42nd)
No. 86 Semih Erden (unranked)
Obviously, based on this, Robinson and Wafer are going to have a huge impact this season, while Shaq and Rondo will have little to no effect whatsoever. Right?
FORBES’ HIGHEST-PAID NBA PLAYERS
The list of highest-paid NBA players, gathered  by Forbes Magazine, is fairly hilarious. Sure, Bryant is legitimately slotted as the league’s No. 1 earner. After that, it all falls apart.
Rashard Lewis is the second highest-paid player in the NBA? Ouch. He’s making $20,236.92 for every point he scored last season.
Garnett is the lone Celtic on the list at No. 3 — earning $18.8 million this season.
Michael Redd  is only making $18.3 million this season. Practically a bargain. He’s played 51 games combined over the last three seasons — half the length of his six-year, $91 million contract. On the bright side, it’s only about $1 million per game.
How would you like to be paying Andrei Kirilenko $17.8 million this season? Thankfully, Gilbert Arenas  only has four years and $80,154,460 left on his deal.
No wonder David Stern  wants to slash NBA salaries. Not that it’s going to happen.
(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach  on Twitter.)
Article printed from Green Street: http://greenstreet.weei.com
URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2010/11/05/irish-coffee-big-threes-by-the-numbers/
URLs in this post:
 Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm
 ranked: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1011/top.nba.trios/content.1.html
 Kevin Garnett: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kevin-garnett.htm
 Paul Pierce: http://media.weei.com/basketball/paul-pierce.htm
 Rajon Rondo: http://media.weei.com/basketball/rajon-rondo.htm
 Ray Allen: http://media.weei.com/basketball/ray-allen-celtics.htm
 LeBron James: http://media.weei.com/basketball/lebron-james.htm
 Dwyane Wade: http://media.weei.com/basketball/dwyane-wade.htm
 Kobe Bryant: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kobe-bryant.htm
 Pau Gasol: http://media.weei.com/basketball/pau-gasol.htm
 win score: http://dberri.wordpress.com/2006/05/21/simple-models-of-player-performance/
 player efficiency rating: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&id=2850240
 Jazz: http://media.weei.com/basketball/utah-jazz.htm
 took a look: http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/john_schuhmann/11/04/numbers-game-contender-stats/
 ranked: http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=8035
 win shares: http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/ws.html
 Avery Bradley: http://media.weei.com/basketball/avery-bradley.htm
 Nate Robinson: http://media.weei.com/basketball/nate-robinson.htm
 Jermaine O’Neal: http://media.weei.com/basketball/jermaine-oneal.htm
 Marquis Daniels: http://media.weei.com/basketball/marquis-daniels.htm
 Glen Davis: http://media.weei.com/basketball/glen-davis.htm
 Von Wafer: http://media.weei.com/basketball/von-wafer.htm
 Delonte West: http://media.weei.com/basketball/delonte-west.htm
 Shaquille O’Neal: http://media.weei.com/basketball/shaquille-oneal.htm
 Kendrick Perkins: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kendrick-perkins.htm
 gathered: http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/04/nba-best-paid-players-business-sportsmoney-nba-top-paid-players_slide.html
 Michael Redd: http://media.weei.com/basketball/michael-redd.htm
 Gilbert Arenas: http://media.weei.com/basketball/gilbert-arenas.htm
 David Stern: http://media.weei.com/basketball/david-stern-nba.htm
 @brohrbach: http://twitter.com/brohrbach
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