Cornering the market: Celtics lead NBA in corner 3-point percentage

Cornering the market: Celtics lead NBA in corner 3-point percentage

One of the more promising developments for the Celtics this season is their improved efficiency on offense. The C’s are 8th in the NBA with a 51.2 eFG%, a massive improvement over their 48.8 eFG% last season (24th in NBA).

eFG% (effective field goal percentage): Measures field goal percentage adjusting for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal. ((FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA

One of the reasons for the jump in eFG% is their improvement on corner 3-point shots. The Celtics are making 47.3 percent of their corner 3s this season, which leads the NBA. Last season the Celtics hit just 34.4 percent from the corners, which ranked 27th. Corner 3s are one of the most efficient shots in basketball, since they’re the closest 3-point shot (22 feet, compared to 23 feet, 9 inches on above the break 3s). 

Leading the turnaround is Avery Bradley, who has hit 14 of his team-high 27 corner 3s this season (51.9 percent). Bradley also led the Celtics in corner 3 attempts last season, but hit just 30.2 percent (39-of-129). All four of the Celtics who have attempted at least 10 corner 3s this season are making more than 47 percent: Bradley (14-of-27), Jae Crowder (6-of-12), Marcus Smart (5-of-10) and Isaiah Thomas (9-of-19).

It’s still early, but the Celtics' improvement from that area of the court is a positive trend worth monitoring with the season nearly a quarter of the way through. 

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had another strong performance for the Boston Celtics, doing so against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George, a player Tatum has acknowledged on more than one occasion he has looked up to. 

That admiration didn’t get in the way of Tatum delivering a big-time performance in helping Boston rally from six points down with 12.7 seconds to play, to knock off the Thunder 100-99.

Tatum tallied a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. And doing so at 20 years and 17 days old, Tatum became the youngest player in franchise history to tally at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.

“It feels good,” Tatum said when asked about his first 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound game in the NBA. “But honestly, I’m just glad we won. That was a big win against a great team and it was fun playing out there today.”

Impacting the game on multiple levels offensively along with being a defensive and rebounding force are qualities often associated with George who became familiar with Tatum prior to last June’s NBA draft which is when the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick. 

“I reached out to him before he was coming into this draft and I got to talk to him,” said George, who had 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Celtics. “It’s an honor when you see young talent. I‘ve been inspired by many in this league so it’s great to inspire the younger generation in this league.”

And while Tatum may be young, he continues to prove himself up for whatever challenges await him. 

“We are going to keep throwing to the wolves and keep going to him in those moments,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston closed out the game with an 8-1 spurt in the final 24.7 seconds, with Tatum either scoring or assisting on five of those points which includes assistant on Marcus Morris’ game-winner.

Tatum’s composure down the stretch comes from being influenced by many, including George who considers it “an honor” that Tatum holds him in high regard. 

“At the end of the day, us veteran guys want the younger guys to take the game further and advance much farther than what I was,” George said. “There’s going to be kids looking up to Jayson (Tatum) that are probably already looking up to Jayson (Tatum).”


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

1:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek to discuss Kyrie Irving getting a second opinion on his injured knee and what the Kyrie’s options are for the remainder of the season.

5:53 - Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine break down the Celtics stunning last second comeback win over the Thunder with multiple key players sitting out.

10:27 - Tom Curran and Jerod Mayo stop by Early Edition to play a game of Fill in the Blank that involves Gronkowski’s contract and the Patriots best offseason acquisition.