In the Bonus: Celtics in transition

In the Bonus: Celtics in transition
January 11, 2014, 3:15 pm
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When breaking down the Boston Celtics play this season, it's clear that part of who they are is their transition game.

But there's one problem.

It's the part of who they are that's not very good.

This has been especially problematic since January 1.

Prior to that, Boston was limiting opponents to 13 fast-break points per game.

Today?

That number has grown to 17.5 points per game, the fourth-highest total in the NBA since the calendar flipped to January.

More points given up has been fueled by teams doing a better job of scoring of scoring in transition. Prior to January 1, opponents shot 63.8 percent on fast-break attempts. Today, that number is up to 71.7 percent.

Boston's transition offense isn't much better, either.

Since Jan. 1, Boston has averaged just 9.8 fast-break points per game which is the sixth-worst average. Prior to that, they averaged 12.4.

A big part of their problem has simply been finishing off plays around the basket for easy scorers.

Boston is shooting 57.9 percent on fast-break attempts since January 1 compared to 65.3 percent prior to that.

The Celtics made strides in Friday's loss at Golden State, the kind of progress they hope will snowball into a few more wins going forward.

Boston faced a Warriors squad that's among the best shooting teams in the NBA.  Although Stephen Curry did knock down the game-winning shot with 2.1 seconds to play, the Celtics forced him into shooting just 7-for-18 from the field before he finished with 19 points.

Limiting Portland's transition game while getting their own transition game on track will be critical tonight, especially against one of the loudest crowds in the NBA.

"They've always been good at home," said Boston's Gerald Wallace. "Their crowd, their energy ... we have to come out and stick to our principles."

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