Pistons don't give playoff layups; Celtics don't get them
If the Boston Celtics get by the Cleveland Cavaliers, they will probably face the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. They should be worried.
According to the numbers posted in 82games.com, thus far in the playoffs the Celtics cannot generate any easy baskets, and the Pistons refuse to give any up. Normally, that's the recipe for a beatdown.
Ranking Interior Play for the remaining NBA contestants
Using the aforementioned numbers, I've ranked the best inside offensive and defensive performances among the teams left in this year's NBA playoffs. The Detroit Pistons are the best interior defense and the Boston Celtics are the worst interior offense. The Pistons interior FG% Against is an outstanding 44.2%, while the Celtics interior FG% Shot is an anemic 46.6%. That, along with the free throw problems I outlined previously, is causing the Celtics some real problems.
Oddly enough, during the regular season the Pistons were a decidedly less effective interior defensive team (allowing a FG% of 50.0%) while the Celtics were an excellent interior offensive team (shooting a FG% of 56.8%). Yet the Celtics struggle. And this despite the fact they have played 3 games against the worst interior defense remaining.
Among the rest, the most improved inside defense belongs to the Utah Jazz. They have gone from a regular season FG% allowed of 56.4% to a postseason 48.7%. And the LA Lakers have the most improved inside offense, topping their regular season performance by about 6%.
Some teams know how to step it up. Others need to learn quickly.