Try to make a shot?
For all I know, the hoops in Cleveland are the same height and width than in Boston. But for whatever reason, the Boston Celtics are shooting drastically worse on the road.
They are averaging 94 points on the road, 16 less than at home. Their field goal percentage is 41 percent on the road compared to 47 percent at home (31 percent from three compared to 38 percent at home).
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But it’s not just the numbers. Even the shot selection is worse. Some of it is the Cavs defense, but some of it is just boneheaded. Terry Rozier taking transition pullup threes going 1 on 3 is not smart. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum driving and still shooting after getting double or triple teamed in the paint just to get blocked makes no sense.
Marcus Smart, as great as he is sometimes, does not need to take another shot in his life as far as I’m concerned. Nothing kills a run quite like a Marcus Smart brick. It’s always great when the Cavs are leaving Smart open on purpose and he launches up a three anyway. 4 for 17 in Cleveland. 1 for 9 from three. A plus/minus of -23 in 56 minutes. Not great.
Jayson Tatum is getting to the line on the road, but is shooting 8 for 26 for deep in the playoffs. Even at home he’s just 9 for 29. That’s 31 percent for a 43 percent three point shooter in the regular season. Yes, he’s a rookie, but the Celtics are relying on him for a reason.
In Game 5, the Boston Celtics can’t afford to take bad shots. The right guys have to get open looks from three, and they need to go in.
If the Cavs defense is like it was in Games 1 and 2, this should not be a huge problem. If it is, then the lanes are open for driving. Cleveland can’t close out and switch well enough to stop the drives from coming. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are more athletic than anybody guarding them. Kyle Korver had one fluke game and JR Smith won’t have the crowd behind him. The Celtics will have their chances, it’s up to them if they pull through.