Celtics Must Get In The Paint In Game 7

PHILADELPHIA — Points in the paint are often cited as a key to a game or playoff series. And that makes sense, of course. Shots from the paint are better shots than shots from outside the paint. And if you’re getting more of the former, you’re probably playing more efficient offensively.

But not all teams score the same. You can have an efficient offense without scoring a lot of points in the paint, with the Clippers and Thunder as two examples of that this season.

The Boston Celtics don’t score a lot of points in the paint and they don’t have an efficient offense, either. But their points in the paint has been a key to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Overall, the Sixers have outscored the Celtics 232-206 in the paint over the course of six games. The Celtics have only had the PIP advantage once (Game 3). And Philly has actually scored more points in the paint in their three losses (124) than they have in their three wins (108). The big difference has come on the other end of the floor.

Celtics-Sixers points in the paint

Game 1 38 40
Game 2 32 32
Game 3 50 38
Game 4 26 34
Game 5 44 46
Game 6 16 42
BOS wins 44.0 41.3
PHI wins 24.7 36.0

Rajon Rondo‘s 58 points in the paint lead the series. In fact, as evidence of how these two teams operate, three of the four top scorers in the paint are guards…

Celtics-Sixers points in the paint

Player BOS wins PHI Wins Total
Rajon Rondo 34 24 58
Evan Turner 16 24 40
Thaddeus Young 24 10 34
Jrue Holiday 12 20 32
Kevin Garnett 24 6 30
Lavoy Allen 20 10 30

For Rondo, it’s about finishing at the rim. He’s attempted 27 shots in the paint in the Celtics’ three wins and 26 in their three losses. But he’s 17-for-27 (63 percent) in the wins and 12-for-26 (46 percent) in the losses. In addition to leading the series in points in the paint, he also leads in fast break points with 20.

The bigger key for the Celtics in Game 7 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC) may be to just get Kevin Garnett the ball in the paint. Garnett is 12-for-18 from inside the paint in the Celtics’ three wins and 3-for-8 in the three losses. In Game 2, he got five shots in the paint. In Game 4, he got three. And in Game 6, all 20 of his shots came from outside the paint.

It’s not just about Garnett’s shots either. If he can get good post position, the Sixers’ defense will be compromised, and other guys will get good shots. So the Sixers must get back in transition, when Rondo is most dangerous and when KG has the best opportunity to get set up near the basket.

In a way, the points in the paint issue does go back to the Sixers’ side of the floor. When they score or at least have good spacing offensively, they can retreat and do a better job of preventing early opportunities for the Celtics, both for Rondo and Garnett.


  1. Law064 says:

    Well that’s the truth Philly is the underdog I mean their the 8th seed. The Celt’s have to shoot a lot better and if they get at least 20 points in the paint they’ll be fine. Game 6 was horrible and they lost by 7 points so they just need to play a little better than that and they will win this series. Rondo & KG will bounce back in game 7. Paul needs to attack the basket like game 3. I have faith in the celt’s but if they play flat like game 6 they’ll be fishing. Let’s go Boston!!!!!!!!

  2. W/E says:


  3. Miami Guy says:

    Boston is the favorite team but most of the people out there like me want Philly to win as an under-dog.

  4. BlackEcstasy says:

    The Celts always play great with their backs up against the wall. I expect Pierce to come out very agressively and Doc Rivers with some adjustments to find a way get KG the ball down low.

  5. Karlo Garcia says:

    If this is any indication i believe Boston wins. KG will com up BIG.

  6. OKCvsSPURS says:

    I agree, the only way Celts can win this series is if they pound the sixers in the paint which garnet should be doing.

  7. KG needs to play big in the paint, what happened to the big ticket, he was playing great in the beginging of the series has done nothing in the last three games.

  8. charles says:

    I’d love to see philly win it. It’ll be good to have a final four without lakers and celtics. They’ve won too many and I think they’re under the impression that they are entitled to it….

    • spelkey55 says:

      John you hit the nail right on the head. Points in the paint are winning the games in this series.

  9. me says:

    quite rite