CelticsHub: Eliminating turnovers

In last week's Celtics Mailbag, a reader asked about Boston's turnovers since losing Rajon Rondo for the season. Here's what we found:

In the 43 games before Rondo tore his ACL, the Celtics had a team turnover percentage of 15.3 percent (11th best in the league). Without Rondo -- and without a pure backup point guard -- we all figured that number would rise. Over the past 14 games, however, the number has actually dipped to 13.9 percent, which is fifth best in the league in that span.

Boston has long been one of the league's worst in turnover percentage, ranking 25th or worst in the Kevin Garnett era. Our good friend Brian Robb at CelticsHub takes a longer look at this year's turnover elimination without Rondo:

A quick sampling of individual turnover rates tells an even bigger story:

Turnovers/100 possessions

Pierce: 12.8

Green: 12.7

Lee: 10.7

Bradley: 9.7

Wilcox: 9.6

Barbosa: 8.5

Terry: 7.9

Crawford: 7.4

Garnett: 7.3

Bass: 6.3

That, my friends, is an elite group at protecting the basketball, even with increased ballhandling duties for the guards without Rondo on the shelf. The best part of these reduced rates is they are all relatively sustainable. Throughout their career, all of these guys have low-turnover rates, meaning that despite the limited sample size, Boston should be able to keep protecting the ball for the remainder of the season. The team’s improvement in the turnover department has translated into their overall offense, as the team’s offensive efficiency has jumped from 99.8 to 101.9 (18th in the NBA) without Rondo at the helm.

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