Celtics on Record Pace

1990-91 Boston Celtics

Merry Christmas Celtics, Part Two: Philadelphia coach Jimmy Lynam needs to catch Boston to win the Atlantic Division. He admits the way they are playing, it'll be a tough task.

"They're shooting what? About 53 percent 53.1, and see what they are holding people to 44.1," said Lynam. "To me, that's a startling disparity. Someone should do some research to see the last team to do that. That obviously translates into a lot of W's."

As a matter of fact, since defensive field goal percentages have been recorded (1970-71), no one has finished with a disparity as high as 9 points.

In 1970-71, the Milwaukee Bucks shot .504 and held teams to .424 for a disparity of 8 points. The following year, when they set the league record for opponents' field goal percentage (.420), they shot .498 for a disparity of 7.8.

Last season, Utah was the only team in the league that shot 50 percent or better (.505). Defensively, they held teams to .455 for a disparity of 5 points. Boston shot .498 last year and held teams to .466 for a disparity of 3.2 points, second only to the Jazz.

During the 1984-85 season, the Lakers set the league mark for field goal percentage at .545. They held opponents to .480 for a disparity of 6.5. Los Angeles won the title that year.

In short, Lynam is right. Nine percentage points between your team and the one you're playing is outstanding. It's called getting it done on both ends, and what better Christmas present could you ask for?

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