|Boxscore Breakdown: The Unbeatable Heat are 0-1||10.27.10 at 3:35 pm ET|
Below are some statistical observations that you might not have seen yet from the C’s opener last night (big thanks to HOOPDATA):
* – Miami shot just .365 from the floor. Only six times last regular season did an opponent shoot .365 or worse and the Celtics went 6-0 in those games. In fact, they’ve won each of the last 17 times that an opponent has shot that poorly at Boston, dating back to November, 2007.
* – Boston was much more effective on the offensive boards as the Celtics were credited with eight offensive rebounds and 11 “second chance” points (1.4 per offensive board). Miami actually had more offensive rebounds than Boston (11) but managed just five second chance points (0.5 points per).
* – Boston got to the rim more often, taking 38 percent of their shots from point blank, compared to Miami’s 30 percent. What’s more, Boston converted on 61 percent of those chances while Miami came in at just 55 percent. For the Celtics, Davis and Daniels combined for a 7-for-7 performance at the rim. The rest of the team combined to hit 9-for-19 (47 percent).
* – Miami was a collective 1-for-12 on jumpers from 15 feet and in, while Boston wasn’t a whole lot better (5-for-16, 31 percent). Note that it’s jumpers, outside of “at rim”.
* – If we look at all shots taken from more than 10 feet out, it’s probably best to compare the teams and players using “points per shot taken”, since three-pointers are more valuable when made (thanks, Captain Obvious).
Anyway, Boston took 33 of their 69 total shots from outside 10 feet (48 percent) and averaged a solid 1.03 points per shot. Meanwhile, a whopping 62 percent of Miami’s shots were from outside and their points per shot was a much less-solid 0.83. That comes out to 0.54 pps on two pointers outside of 10 feet and 1.20 pps on threes.
* – Boston drained 8-of-16 threes, the 32nd time (including playoffs) that they’ve hit 50 percent or better while attempting 15 or more treys since the start of the 2008-09 season. They’re 29-3 in those games. It was just the 10th time since the start of last season (including playoffs) that the Celtics and their opponent each made at least eight three-pointers. The C’s went 5-4 in those last season.
* – The 69 shots taken by the Celtics was quite a low total. Last season (again, including playoffs) they managed 69 or fewer shots at the Garden just twice. It was Boston’s lowest shooting percentage (.464) in a game where they took 69 or fewer shots since May 6, 2008, when they shot .426 on 68 shots in a 76-72 playoff win against… Lebron James and the Cavaliers.
Finally, I thought I’d pass along this tidbit that I saw on twitter (via @JonCouture): The over/under for the Heat’s lowest single game point total of the season was set at 81.5 points. So if you took the under, you’ve already won your bet after just one game!
|Grousbeck on Rondo’s missing headband, LeBron, Wade and Jeff Van Gundy||10.26.10 at 8:00 pm ET|
Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck appeared on WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show on Tuesday morning. His discussion of the upcoming season touched included some pointed remarks about the new Heat nucleus and about a new fashion twist with point guard Rajon Rondo. A transcript of highlights is below. To listen to the interview, click here.
On the excitement surrounding the opener against the Heat:
‘It’s caused our team to focus extra hard the whole month of training camp, I’m sure. It’s really great that we get to have the opener. I guess we deserve it,’ said Grousbeck. ‘We’re the Eastern Conference champs. It’s great that [Dwyane] Wade lost last spring on our court. It’s great that LeBron [James] has lost every playoff series he’s ever played against us. I hope they’re listening. It adds to the pot boiling a little bit more.’
A computer simulation gave the Heat a 70 percent chance of winning the title:
‘I wouldn’t guess 70 percent tonight. I’d give us 70 percent tonight. I love it. I love Jeff Van Gundy. He’s a very nice guy, but he can’t stand the Celtics because we keep knocking his brother out of the playoffs and he used to be a Knick. But he said they won’t lose two games in a row all year, and they will win 73 games. He’s made all these predictions about the Heat. I think that adds a lot of pressure. ‘¦ Let’s start them off 0-1 tonight and see how they like it.’
On the absence of Rondo’s headband:
‘He’s not going to have it on. He used to wear it upside-down, as a real connoisseur would know and I’m sure you noticed, he had an upside-down logo, turning the NBA upside-down. And they won’t let him do it anymore. They said they were going to fine him for that. So he said, ‘To heck with you, I’m not going to fine it at all.’ That’s the Rondo headband situation for you connoisseurs of men’s accessories.’
|Shaquille O’Neal: ‘Tuesday night we ain’t losing money’||10.26.10 at 1:10 pm ET|
Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal had stated following his team’s preseason win over the Knicks in Hartford, Oct. 16, that he had been in bigger openers than this season’s meeting against the Miami Heat. O’Neal stated at the time, “In the last 20 years I’ve had bigger openers. It’s big to you guys, but you guys like the hype. Everybody wants to talk about the young team, but the last 10 years I think I’ve been there I think four times and I haven’t seen a young time do it yet … Especially with all the social media ‘¦ I’ve been in much bigger games.”
But after looking at his 18 season-openers in the NBA — which have translated to a 13-5 record for his teams — O’Neal admitted that Tuesday night’s showdown did distinguish itself.
“Maybe ’02 was a big one,” he said, referencing his Lakers’ 87-82 loss to the Spurs. “I guess this probably does rank up there as one of the biggest openers.”
Just moments before looking at the list of his openers, which started with his Magic beating the Heat, 110-92, in 1992, O’Neal commented on how well the media was publicizing the Celtics’ meeting with the Heat.
“All the talk of [the NBA] losing money. Not on Tuesday night we ain’t losing money,” he said.
Here is a complete list of O’Neal’s openers (with his team in bold):
1992: Orlando 110, Miami 100
’93: Orlando 116, Miami 96
’94: Bullets 110, Orlando 108
’95: Orlando 99, Cleveland 88
’96: Lakers 96, Phoenix 82
’97: Lakers 104, Jazz 97
’98: Lakers 99, Rockets 91
’99: Lakers 91, Utah 84
’00: Lakers 96, Portland 86
’01: Lakers 98, Portland 87
’02: Spurs 87, Lakers 82
’03: Lakers 109, Mavs 93
’04: Miami 100, Nets 77
’05: Miami 97, Memphis 78
’06: Bulls 108, Miami 66
’07: Pistons 91, Miami 80
’08: Phoenix 103, Spurs 98
’09: Celtics 95, Cavs 89
|Celtics waive West, Lasme and Gallon||10.21.10 at 5:58 pm ET|
The Celtics announced Thursday that they have waived forwards Stephane Lasme, Keith ‘Tiny’ Gallon, and guard Mario West. Lasme, a 6-foot-8 215 lbs forward, averaged 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game during the 2010 preseason for the Celtics. West, a 6-foot-5 210 lbs guard, appeared in all eight preseason games for the Celtics averaging 0.7 points and 0.7 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game. Gallon, a 6-foot-9 290 lbs forward, was signed by the Celtics on Oct. 19 and dressed for the game against New Jersey on Oct. 20.
|One reporter’s take on which NBA team has the best starting lineup||10.16.10 at 10:51 am ET|
So you think the Celtics have the best starting lineup in the NBA? Well, Dime Magazine suggests they might have some competition for the honor. In an article penned by Andrew Macaluso, the merits of the C’s, Hawks, Mavericks, Lakers, and Magic are pointed out based off a numerical formula that looks solely at last year’s stats (hence, the reason for no Heat). Here is what Macaluso had to say about the Celtics:
When Kevin Garnett came to Boston, they instantly turned into a defensive-minded team. How do you think they won an NBA title the same season? After logging 1,179 minutes last season, Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins posted a record of 38-19 (66.6 win percentage) with an Off of 1.13 and a Def of 1.00. Unfortunately, Perkins went down in the playoffs with a major knee injury, so what did the Celtics do? They went out and signed (and drafted) nothing but defensive players. With ‘Sheed Wallace retiring ‘ although he made their defense worse when he was in the lineup ‘ and even with Perkins out until February, I expect Shaq, J.O., Big Baby and rookieAvery Bradley, to help keep the Celtics’ defense in lockdown mode until Perkins comes back.
|Shaq Q&A: ‘Always knew Doc was a great coach’||09.28.10 at 4:27 pm ET|
Newport, R.I. — Shaquille O’Neal speaks maybe a half a notch above whisper. So it took my best Talia Shire to get through the rest of the media and pick up what I could from his (very brief) sit down with the press folks following his first practice with the Celtics Tuesday at Salve Regina University. Here’s what we got:
No chemistry problems with a new team?
“I’ve known a lot of these guys their whole career, spent a lot of time with them during the summer. Getting along with the guys won’t be a problem or a factor. I’ve known these guys since the first day they came into the NBA.”
Does it matter if you start or not at this point of your career?
“Nope, my game is real limited. I know to look for Garnett and to look for my shooters. I’ve always played with great big men and great shooters, so it’s no different.”
How about your first day with Doc Rivers as your head coach? About what you expected?
“I always knew Doc was a great coach, that’s why I called him this summer. I want to end my career with a players coach, I wanted to end my career with a team that’s going to win.”
Doc mentioned that some of the guys weren’t in the condition he had hoped. Is your fitness level a concern?
“I’m happy, I’m cool. There’s a difference between being in shape and in basketball shape. Remember, I’m not going to be playing 35-40 minutes a game, more like 20-25 minutes a game, and I could do that all day. I’m still putting in some extra work, doing some yoga at night so I’ll be ready.”
Just happy to be with this team?
“I’m very delighted for myself and my family. Going into my 19th year, breaking records every day and being different historical teams. I’ve had a very, very unorthodox and illustrious career. Unorthodox and illustrious — two big words in a row.”
|Shaq on D&C: ‘I would have played for free’ in Boston||09.28.10 at 8:49 am ET|
In an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, new Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal, who has made no less than $10 million in his last 14 NBA seasons and at least $20 million in his last nine campaigns, said that he had no problem taking a pay cut in excess of 90 percent in order to come to the Celtics. O’Neal signed a two-year deal for approximately $3 million this summer, and he suggested that money was virtually irrelevant in making his decision to join Boston.
“I had other options where the money would have been greater. But this franchise, this team, has a tradition of winning,” O’Neal said. “I’ve been one of the luckiest guys in the history of the game. I’ve had four max deals and one lifetime of play. So money wasn’t an issue. Money will never be an issue. But Danny Ainge had $1 million left, which was the minimum. If I had to, to come here and play, I would have played for free. Doesn’t matter to me.”
O’Neal ‘ who said that he wanted to be called The Big Shamrock while with the Celtics — also discussed whether he will be able to “blend in” in Boston both on and off the court, his bucket list, his experience of last year’s Celtics-Cavaliers playoff series from Cleveland’s perspective and his feelings on Dwight Howard and LeBron James, among several other topics.
A transcript is below. To listen to the complete interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
This is Shaquille O’Neal. Don’t mess with Dennis & Callahan, weekdays from 6-10 on the WEEI Sports Radio Network.
Skip the boring basketball questions. Is Boston big enough for your personality?
I always tell people that I was raised Karate Kid style. My father took me many places as a youngster. I started off in Northern New Jersey, born and raised. Went down south to Hinesville, Ga., then to West Germany, then to San Antonio, Tex. I say that to say that I can blend in anywhere.
You probably can’t blend in.
I can blend in. If people are looking for me in Boston, I’ll be in Sudbury. If you’re looking for the Big Shamrock, he’ll be in Sudbury, in the fields of Sudbury.
You’ve settled on the Big Shamrock?
Yes. The Big Shamrock. Yes.