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February 3, 2012, 11:34 AM ET
14 Games With the Celtics

by Neil Paine

From January 6 to January 20, the Boston Celtics had a stretch where they lost 6 times in 7 games. Here were the relevant numbers from those 7 games:

Player          G       GS      Min     PPG     TS%     APG     RPG    AWS36
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Allen       7       7       251     11.6    58.2    2.1     3.9     3.5
Paul Pierce     7       7       239     13.6    47.7    4.0     4.0     2.3
Kevin Garnett   7       7       222     13.4    47.9    2.0     7.4     3.0
Rajon Rondo     6       6       221     14.7    52.7    7.8     5.0     5.7
Brandon Bass    7       1       189      8.7    43.5    0.9     5.9     2.7
Jermaine O’Neal 7       6       170      5.3    41.3    0.6     6.9     4.1
Mickael Pietrus 6       0       120      7.8    62.2    0.0     1.2     4.5
Avery Bradley   6       1        81      4.3    53.5    0.7     1.8     3.4
E’Twaun Moore   5       0        59      2.2    25.0    1.6     0.6    -2.2
Marquis Daniels 5       0        43      1.2    25.0    1.0     2.2    -2.2
Greg Stiemsma   7       0        37      0.4    52.1    0.3     1.3     1.3
Keyon Dooling   2       0        26      6.5    81.3    0.5     1.0     1.6
Chris Wilcox    3       0        11      1.7    64.4    0.0     0.3     3.7
JaJuan Johnson  4       0        10      2.3    65.4    0.0     1.3    17.9
Sasha Pavlovic  1       0         1      0.0            0.0     0.0     0.0
—————————————————————————–
OFFENSIVE RATING:  95.0
DEFENSIVE RATING: 100.8
—————————————————————————–

Rajon Rondo was also injured during that 7-game stretch. Yet, the C’s then proceeded to go on a run of 6 wins in 7 games:

Player          G       GS      Min     PPG     TS%     APG     RPG    AWS36
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Pierce     7       7       242     22.9    61.8    7.7     6.4     9.7
Brandon Bass    7       3       234     13.1    52.9    1.4     6.7     3.8
Avery Bradley   7       7       219      6.3    43.2    2.9     2.9     0.6
Kevin Garnett   7       7       207     12.9    57.5    3.3     7.0     8.6
Mickael Pietrus 6       2       154      8.8    51.3    0.8     4.0     3.4
E’Twaun Moore   7       0       113      6.1    57.8    1.6     1.3     3.9
Ray Allen       4       4       108     13.3    68.2    4.3     1.8     8.2
Chris Wilcox    5       0        92      4.4    57.3    0.6     4.2     2.7
Sasha Pavlovic  7       1        89      3.6    52.1    0.3     1.6     2.4
Jermaine O’Neal 4       4        83      6.5    57.4    0.8     4.5     2.9
Marquis Daniels 6       0        82      3.7    52.7    2.2     1.3     3.1
Greg Stiemsma   6       0        34      0.7    28.6    0.3     1.5    -0.5
JaJuan Johnson  2       0        14      7.5    75.9    0.0     1.0    15.9
Keyon Dooling   1       0         9      3.0    75.0    0.0     0.0     5.3
—————————————————————————–
OFFENSIVE RATING: 105.4
DEFENSIVE RATING:  90.8
—————————————————————————–

A big reason for the sudden turnaround is scheduling:

Date        Opponent            SRS     Result
 1/6/2012   Indiana Pacers     16th    L , 74-87
1/11/2012   Dallas Mavericks    8th    L , 85-90
1/13/2012   Chicago Bulls       4th    L , 79-88
1/14/2012 @ Indiana Pacers     16th    L , 83-97
1/16/2012   Okla. City Thunder  6th    L , 88-97
1/18/2012   Toronto Raptors    26th    W , 96-73
1/20/2012   Phoenix Suns       21st    L , 71-79

1/22/2012 @ Washington Wizards 28th    W , 100-94
1/23/2012   Orlando Magic      19th    W , 87-56
1/26/2012 @ Orlando Magic      19th    W , 91-83
1/27/2012   Indiana Pacers     16th    W , 94-87
1/29/2012   Cleveland Cavs     24th    L , 87-88
1/31/2012 @ Cleveland Cavs     24th    W , 93-90
 2/1/2012   Toronto Raptors    26th    W , 100-64

However, I find their play in Rondo’s absence to be interesting. During the losing skid, Rondo was their best player, possibly the lone player on the team playing at an acceptable level. Garnett & Pierce struggled to make shots; Allen couldn’t even get shots. When Rondo went down, Avery Bradley took over at PG and has been terrible, giving the team practically none of Rondo’s production… But Garnett, Allen, and (especially) Pierce are suddenly playing extremely well. This is not the “Ewing Theory” in action, of course; it’s more a reminder that seasons are filled with strange streaks. Most of them get smoothed out in the long run, but they sure can be mystifying in the moment.

Email Neil at np@sports-reference.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Neil_Paine.

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