BOSTON (CBS) — Catching up on the four major teams in town while doing a spring cleaning the only way we know how – by the numbers:
Plus-minus of Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, in 26 minutes, during the team’s 99-86 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night. This is not a misprint. Counting free throws, Olynyk was 9-of-11 shooting with five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Entering the game, Olynyk was a plus-13 for the season, which means he may never have another game like the one he did on Wednesday.
Points, in 12 games, recorded by Bruins center David Krejci since the team fired Claude Julien and replaced him with Bruce Cassidy slightly more than a month ago. Lest you forget, Bruins president Cam Neely specifically cited Krejci as one of the players the Bruins need more from while discussing Julien’s dismissal on “Felger & Mazz.” (Yes, that’s a shameless show plug. Listen to the podcast of the interview if you want proof.) When Krejci hat least one point this season, the Bruins are 21-10-4, a record that would produce 108 points over an 82-game season.
OPS of Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi against right-handed pitching during his brief call-up late last season. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox are considering batting Benintendi third this season, which both should and should not some as a surprise. This early? Surprising. But ultimately? Not at all. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Benintendi had 26 hits against right-handers last year, 14 of them for extra bases. He may the best candidate on the roster to replace the left-handed production lost in the retirement of David Ortiz.
Minutes that passed following the Patriots’ acquisition of Dwayne Allen before Bill Belichick was once again being lauded as a genius. Does the deal make sense? Of course. But one year after signing Allen to a sizable contract, the Indianapolis Colts were clearly eager to move on from him. The Patriots obviously take on no long-term risk here, but can we acknowledge that there is a decent chance Allen will be gone a year from now? Of course, these same people gushed last year at this time when the Patriots acquired, among others, Jonathan Cooper in the Chandler Jones deal and deemed him part of the solution on the offensive line. Cooper was subsequently cut in October.
Assist-to-turnover ratio of Celtics standout Isaiah Thomas, a number that ranks 29th in the league among all qualifying NBA point guards. Do we all love Isaiah? Of course. But the next time someone tells you that he is a franchise-caliber player, let’s remember that the true greats in the NBA make the others around them better. If Isaiah wants to get to that level, he needs to become more of a facilitator and less of a scorer, which means trusting his teammates in the fourth quarter of the postseason. Can the Celtics make the shots? Maybe yes, maybe no. But there’s only one way to find out.
Goals against average of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask since the firing of Julien. During the same stretch of time, Rask has a save percentage of .925. Neely didn’t name Rask as a player who had to up his play down the stretch, but he might as well have. Like Krejci, Rask has miraculously awakened under new coach Cassidy. Funny how that happens, eh?
Earned run average of Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester in eight postseason appearances during his two years with the Chicago Cubs. Last year, Lester posted a 2.02 during the postseason to help guide the Cubs to their first World Series championship in 108 years. This is all worth remembering after the Red Sox low-balled Lester following the 2013 season only to end up paying significantly more for David Price, who has never won a playoff start and now has a questionable elbow.
Times during his tenure as Patriots coach that Belichick has owned a pick in the first half of the first round. With those choices, Belichick drafted Richard Seymour (No. 6 overall), Jerod Mayo (No. 10) and Ty Warren (No. 13). Seven of Belichick’s last eight selection in the first round have been used on defensive players, including the last three on defensive linemen. The Patriots this year own the No. 32 pick and reportedly might have received No. 12 overall if they were willing to part with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Following Friday’s trip finale in Denver, road games the Celtics have remaining over the balance of the regular season, a fact that gives them a decided advantage over Washington and Toronto (both of whom have tougher schedules) in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. One can only wonder if this is at least part of the reason head coach Brad Stevens went with an experimental lineup in the final minutes of the third quarter during the Celtics’ meltdown against the Los Angeles Clippers, a decision that drew the criticism of Thomas.
Home dates the Bruins will have in their final 10 games of the regular season, something that should theoretically serve them well following the late-season collapses of the last two springs. The Bruins home dates include both remaining meetings with the Ottawa Senators, with whom the Bruins could be jostling for either second place in the division of a remaining playoff position. The Bruins concluded the regular season last year with a dreadful 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Senators, a loss that many theorized would trigger the firing of then-coach Julien.
Obviously, it did not.