Bringing Ice to the Hardwood

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz

As if there weren't enough to follow in last night's Celtics-Bobcats double overtime thriller, Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub charted every deflection and "hockey assist" on the Celtics' side of the ball. As Lowe quickly discovered, "deflection" is a nuanced term that encompasses everything from a tap to a teammate to a "slapaway." According to Lowe, Paul Pierce led the C's with seven such deflections.

A hockey assist, for those of us from the southeastern United States, is awarded to " the guy who makes the pass that sets up the assist." This exercise was a bit more revealing, as Lowe enuerates each one of Boston's ten hockey assists:

1) Ray Allen (inbounder) to Rajon Rondo to Paul Pierce for a step back jumper.

2) Ray Allen to Paul Pierce to Rajon Rondo for a three-pointer.

3) Stephon Marbury to Paul Pierce, who finds Mikki Moore for a dunk on a screen/roll.

4) Eddie House to Ray Allen to Mikki Moore for a dunk.

5) Mikki Moore (inbounder) to Rajon Rondo to Perk for a lay-in on a screen/roll.

2nd Half/OTs

6) Rajon Rondo to Paul Pierce to Ray Allen for a three-pointer.

7) Glen Davis (inbounder) to Rajon Rondo to Eddie House for a three-pointer.

8) Kendrick Perikins (inbounder) to Rajon Rondo to Glen Davis for a dunk.

9) Paul Pierce to Kendrick Perkins to Eddie House for a three-pointer. Of all of these, this pass is the type people have in mind when they say the NBA should track hockey assists. Pierce drove down the right side of the lane, forcing Perk's man (Okafor) to help and drawing other perimeter defenders toward the lane to rotate toward Perk. Pierce slid a pass to Perk; Perk, finding himself covered, dished out to House for the wide open three.

10) Rajon Rondo to Paul Pierce to Ray Allen for the game-winning three pointer.

I added the number 8 next to the Perkins hockey assist. On Celtics Hub, Lowe noted it with a smiley-face emoticon wearing sunglasses, which apparently is distributed in ice hockey on certain plays.