Over on the TrueHoops blog, Henry Abbott points out a possible flaw in Hollinger's criticism of the Celtics' low shots per possession.
You know which three teams got the fewest shots per possession last year?
Worst by a country mile was the Celtics. Second was the Thunder. Third was the Heat.
He does acknowledge that all of those teams had few shots per possession but were very efficient with those shots. However, his point was that the Celtics were VERY far off; that the Thunder/Heat, though 2nd and 3rd worst, were closer to average than the Celtics.
Also, while the Thunder/Heat were 2nd and 3rd worst at that specific category, they somehow managed to be 2nd and 6th respectively in total overall offense with Boston 24th. So either Miami/OKC were SOO much better with their shots that they had good offenses despite low shot attempts, or Boston was just THAT FAR in last place that it provided a handicap they just couldn't overcome, or some combination.
So I just checked, and though Boston's actual shot efficiency was 7th best in the league, well, Miami was 4th and OKC was 1st. And guess what, Boston was closer to average than to Miami. So not only did Boston take BY FAR fewer shots than OKC and Miami, while all 3 made up for it by being very efficient with their shots, OKC and Miami were FAR more efficient than even Boston.
So to recap: BOston took teh fewest shots per possession BY FAR, with their rivals being closer to average than to Boston's low mark, and those rivals were much more efficient with those shots than Boston, as Boston was closer to average than to those two rivals in efficiency.
Add that all up and you get a bad offense last year.
Basically, the point is not that few shots per possession is necessarily bad, but if you are getting fewer shots off you have to make up for it somehow. Those other very good low-shot teams made up for it WAY better than the C's. If you don't make up for few shots per possession with excellent efficiency, you just aren't going to score enough per possession to be a good offense.