Bucks Diary

Monday, May 19, 2008

Celtic fans shouldn't blame it all on Ray

Ray Allen's postseason offensive contributions to the Boston Celtics have been almost nonexistent. But, believe it or not, his lack of production is not the primary reason the Celtics have devolved from an invincible regular season team to a vulnerable postseason team. The blame for that is better placed with the duo of Paul Pierce and Leon Powe.

Here's how I came to that conclusion. I first calculated the offensive and defensive postseason Win Scores for every member of the Boston Celtics. I then converted those numbers into each player's postseason "Win Contributions" by comparing the Win Scores to the NBA averages and then multiplying that result by the player's percentage of overall postseason playing time. (For instance, if the player's offensive Win Score was 2.1 points above the NBA average for his position and he played 13% of the Celtics overall playoff minutes, then his offensive Win Contribution was +0.273. As always, +0.000 represents the contribution that could be expected from an average NBA player at the position, and anything above or below that indicates above or below average production).

Then I repeated the same Win Score calculations, but this time using each Celtics regular season averages. I then took those results and multiplied them by the player's postseason percentage of minutes played.

What I was left with was a comparison between the offensive and defensive Win Contributions each player was making in the playoffs and the Win Contribution they would be making if they were producing like they did in the regular season.

Technically, its Pierce and Powe

According to my calculations, the biggest difference between the postseason Celtics and the regular season Celtics has been the dropoff in offensive production from Paul Pierce and, surprisingly, Leon Powe. If those two players were playing with the efficiency and productivity they played with during the regular season, then I believe the Celtics would be winning at the same rate they did during the regular season.

Remember, my conclusions are all relative. Of course Ray Allen's offensive production has been worse than either Pierce or Powe, but because his regular season contributions were not as great as theirs, his decline has not had the same relative impact as theirs has.


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