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The Finals Stat, Game 5: Celtics offense (or lack thereof) determining series

The Finals Stat, Game 5: Celtics offense (or lack thereof) determining series

The offensive execution “just wasn’t there” for Boston in Game 5.

Full coverage: 2022 NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors are one win away from their fourth championship in eight years. They dragged the NBA finals 1-0 and 2-1, but handed the Boston Celtics their first consecutive defeats playoffs to take a 3-2 series lead.

The Warriors blew a 16-point lead in Game 5 on Monday but recovered with a 13-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters and headed to a 104-94 victory. Not only has Stephen Curry been on the floor for most of that 13-0 run, he failed to make a 3-pointer for the first time in 133 career playoff games. And the Warriors still won by double digits, getting a huge game from Andrew Wiggins (26 points, 13 rebounds and terrific defense).

One stat stood out from the rest as the Warriors put themselves in title-winning position when the series returns to Boston for Game 6 on Thursday (9 ET, ABC).


The basics

Game 5 BOS GSW
Points 94 104
Possessions 98 97
OffRtg 95.9 107.2
eFG % 48.7% 51.7%
FTA / FGA 0.413 0.170
TO% 18.4% 7.2%
OREB % 25.0% 10.6%

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (MGF + (0.5 * 15h)) / FGA
TO% = Turnover per 100 possessions
OREB% = % of available offensive rebounds obtained

The statistics

30 points per 100 possessions – Difference between Celtics offensive efficiency in wins (125.5 per 100) and losses (95.5).

The context

Whether or not they got a big game from Curry, the Warriors offense was quite consistent in this series, scoring between 106 and 115 points per 100 possessions in the five games. And they actually scored a bit more effectively in their two losses (110.6 per 100) they have in their three wins (109.7).

But the Celtics offense has had its ups and downs since then. game to game and, sometimes, from quarter to quarter. In Games 1 and 3, Boston scored 129 and 122 points per 100 possessions, respectively. In their three losses, they were limited to just 90, 101 and 96 to 100. These are three of their five worst offensive games playoffs.

The difference is in shooting (with similar differentials in and out of the paint), turnovers (the Cs are 1-7 in playoffs when they have committed 16 or more turnovers) and offensive rebounds.

Celtics Efficiency and 4 Factors, Wins vs. Losses, Endgames

W/L OffRtg eFG % FTA / FGA TO% OREB %
Won 125.5 59.2% 0.230 13.3% 35.9%
Losses 95.5 48.1% 0.279 18.2% 24.5%

They fouls in Game 5, but the Celtics (who ranked second in regular-season free throw percentage) shot just 21-31 (67.7%) from the line on Monday. That included a 4-for-9 mark in the first half, when the Celtics scored just 26 points on their first 38 possessions (68-for-100). Although the offense resumed late in the half, it was still their least effective second half (39 points on 48 possessions) of the playoffs.

Then the Celtics won the third quarter to the first time in this series, scoring almost as many points (35 from 26 possessions) as in the first half. After missing their first 12 3-point attempts of the game, the Celtics made eight in a row covering the second and third periods.

But the offense disappeared in the fourth, when the Celtics failed to score on their first seven possessions as a one-point deficit soared to 11. They scored twice to get back in the seven, but then scored just one run (going 1-for-4 from the line) in their next seven trips to the floor. They just fired 2 for 7 in the paint in this last period.

Going into this series, the Warriors end of the field was the most interesting from an X’s and O’s perspective. But it was the Celtics’ end that determined how the series went. A loss after seeing their season end in disappointment, they will need to find more attack in Game 6.


More numbers

The finals: Traditional | Advanced | 4 factors | Players | Player shot | Compositions

Matches: Warriors in attack | Celtics on offense

Warriors playoffs: Team Stats | Advanced Divisions | Player Stats | Player shot | Compositions

Celtics playoffs: Team Stats | Advanced Divisions | Player Stats | Player shot | Compositions

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John Schuhmann is a senior statistics analyst for NBA.com. You can email him here, find his archives here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.


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