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NBA Casuals Club Vol 3: Clippers Clippering, 40,000 Point Chase, The Two Teams Who Lost Every Game In February, And Is Doc Rivers Bad In Drawing Up Plays?

Welcome back NBA casuals. Lot's to catch up on as we're a week past All Star Sunday (ASS). Let's get a quick lay of the land with the teams that matter. Here's how the best of the best have progressed in wins above .500 in the month of February. 

Celtics went 9-1 including their current (at the time of this writing) nine game win streak. Just look at how far they are above the pack. Pun intended. Now Clippers fans might be upset I left them grayed out, but let me remind you that your favorite team is still in fact the Clippers. A team who just lost a game when they were up 18 in the 4th. This was the first Clippers game I saw the majority of and I gotta say, they were on brand from what I know them as. 

But the effort was there at least. 

Sad stat: the Clippers are the 5th team to blow an 18-point 4th quarter lead and lose this season and the only team to pull it off at home. 

But where are my manners? The 4th quarter blown lead was hardly the main story of this game. I might be a casual but I am well aware that there is a major points milestone that everyone is tracking from a certain Laker's legend who played in this game.

Even for a casual, this was a clear mistake by the graphics crew so I went ahead and fixed it during halftime.

For the record, Kooz had ten more points after halftime so to correct the correction the number is now officially at 32,052. Only a matter of decades now. 

OK, quick chat on the bad teams. The only two that matter for purposes of this blog are the Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers who both went the distance in all of February by not winning a single game. 

The Wizards almost messed up by taking the Lakers into overtime on the 29th but leap day was no match. And this means one thing for the Wiz. Move over Detroit. Finally Pistons fans can take a break from being the butt of a joke because the Wizards are now officially the worst team in the league. No team has lost 12 games or more in a winless month since… well… three months ago in November when - hope you enjoyed it while it lasted Pistons fans - Detroit lost 15. 

NBA Term of the Week: ATO (After Time Out)

I've been doing my job as a casual lately by watching YouTube videos to catch up on my bball terminology so I don't get lost in the first five minutes of a Russillo pod. I figure a quick segment on one that's somewhat relevant might be helpful for the other casuals. So listen up because if you think a high ball screen is the net they put behind a field goal post then this segment might be for you. 

I learned of the term ATO and immediately wondered how to use it as a coaching metric. I mean, think about it. It's the coach's job to draw up a play during that time. So I wrote some code out of the play-by-play data (that took way longer to get accurate than I care to admit) to figure the average points scored by every NBA team immediately after a timeout. Only teams who had possession of the ball immediately after the timeout were considered.

I want to focus on the Bucks here who came in second place with .96 points after a timeout. Doc Rivers was in news recently after JJ Reddick called him out for pretty much being a bad coach who made excuses so I thought it'd be fun to split the ATO pull for the Bucks before and after Doc. Turns out the Bucks averaged 1.01 points ATO before Doc and just .78 with Doc. That puts them down with Charlotte Hornets level riff raff despite having a team with Giannis and Dame. 

But hey, maybe Doc just needs more than two stars. Maybe he needs literally a full team of stars. All stars. Well, he got that chance as the coach of the East in the All Star game which isn't exactly known for it's defensive prowess. Even so, Doc went 0-3 ATO. Tough look Doc. 

Let's stop here. We're three weeks in to this blog and I'm having a lot of fun digging into these random irreverent lookups and I hope you casuals are enjoying as well for a quick chuckle. And I'm always open to suggestions so don't be afraid to get weird and throw some ideas my way.