Taking advantage of turnovers
Not only has Boston ratcheted up its defensive intensity causing more turnovers, but it's parlayed those opponent giveaways into easy points that have helped spark this four-game winning streak.
The Celtics are averaging 2½ more turnovers and six additional points off those giveaways per 48 minutes over the last four games. Maybe the most staggering number is that a whopping 22.9 percent of Boston's total points have come off turnovers in recent games as opposed to 17.1 percent over the first 43 games of the season. Let's take a closer look at the numbers:
Boston is cashing in giveaways at a staggering rate at the moment and that was highlighted in Sunday's win over the Clippers when it turned 21 Los Angeles turnovers into a whopping 33 points (1.57 points per turnover). By contrast, during an overtime loss to the Bulls last month, Boston parlayed 21 turnovers into a mere seven points (0.33 points per turnover).
“That’s a rarity," Rivers said after that game. "You should at least score one point per turnover, and, on a good night, it would be nice to have more.”
Over the last four games, Boston has turned 75 opponent turnovers into 92 points (1.23 points per turnover). When you don't have an All-Star point guard to spearhead your offense, you have to take advantage of opportunities and the Celtics have pounced on giveaways.
Play Podcast Grantland's Bill Simmons discusses the state of the Lakers, Phil Jackson's future, the perception of Rajon Rondo, Doc Rivers' impact on the Clippers and more.
Play Podcast Buster Olney chats with Jayson Stark about Ken Griffey Jr.'s uncomfortable interview with Linda Cohn and the value of spring training. Plus, Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels and Derrick Goold on Matt Carpenter's negotiations with the Cardinals.
Play Podcast Red Sox manager John Farrell talks about whether he expected his team to make such a turnaround in one season, his relationship with his players, fans' expectations for the squad and more.