Behind the numbers: Who gets the start, Turner or Smart?
Who gets the start, Turner or Smart?
By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSN Celtics Insider
ATLANTA – The Celtics will have a new-look starting lineup with Evan Turner or Marcus Smart expected to get the starting nod in place of Avery Bradley (right hamstring) who is out for tonight’s Game 2 and is expected to miss the remainder of this series.
Even though both Turner and Smart are regulars in the rotation, they haven’t logged a ton of time with the current starting unit of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger.
Turner played with the group a total of 57 minutes spread over 17 games this season. During that time the Celtics were outscored, 117-115.
Smart logged 78 minutes in 14 games with the current group of starters. While on the floor with Smart, they outscored opponents, 170-155.
The playoffs are largely about making adjustments, and whoever is with the first unit tonight will indeed a slight departure from what we’ve seen in the regular season as well as this postseason.
In Game 1, Turner nor Smart played a single minute with the current group of starters.
“Everybody brings a little something different out there,” Boston’s Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “But we’ve played enough with each other, we know what each can do, what each likes and all that. We’ll be fine.”
Here are some other key numbers to note as the Celtics gear up for Game 2 tonight against the Atlanta Hawks:
THE BRADLEY FACTOR
With Avery Bradley (he’s out tonight with a right hamstring injury) on the floor, Boston shot 45.1 percent from the field and 35.9 percent on 3s during the regular season. Without him, shooting dipped to 41.9 percent from the field and a wickedly woeful 29.1 percent from 3-point range.
BRADLEY FACTOR 2.0
In Game 1, Boston had 105.7 points per 48 minutes when he was on the court, 90.5 when he was out of the game.
FUTILE FIRST HALVES
In their past three first halves, the Celtics have been outscored 176-113, or by 21 points per game. In those games, Boston shot 29.1 percent from the floor while their opponents connected on 52.7 percent of their attempts.
The Celtics haven’t won a playoff series after losing Game 1 since 2012. Their opponent? The Atlanta Hawks who were downed by Boston in six games during their first round matchup that year). Overall Boston is 4-11 when losing Game 1 of a best-of-seven playoff series.
Boston has lost its past six playoff games, the second-longest streak in franchise history (they lost 8 games from 2003-2004). Their last win was Game 5 of their first-round series against the New York Knicks in 2013.