Time to burn Mazzulla’s book of metrics

Having lost their last two games, the Celtics have given rise to panic-driven shrieks.

They take silly shots … they randomly take time off playing defense … Jaylen Brown still handles the ball as if he were wearing oven mitts … Jayson Tatum isn’t a leader … Joe Mazzulla needs to coach a junior high team and work his way up to the NBA … losing a game to the 76ers under any circumstances is a felonious sin.

This is hardly a stunning turn of events. As the season began the Celtics were lauded as the greatest collection of talent in this or any other universe and really should never lose a game to anyone.

So here we are, seven games deep. Two losses are on the board. The playoffs begin in six months; they better get their noggins in position or they may not be the top seed.

To be sure, the two losses have been extra-annoying because each of them included issues that have haunted the Celtics from the start of the Tatum-Brown Era.

While occasions of exasperating shot selection, unforced turnovers and lack of urgency are tickets to playoff purgatory, Mazzulla needs to be taken to the wood shed and spanked until he gets the following bit of coaching wisdom is excised from his mindset:

“We held them to 25 points in three quarters, which gives us a 69 percent chance of winning the game.”

Lord, the man is an analytics devotee. The geeks have gotten to him. 

His hypnotic trance has been exposed.

And I was foolish enough to believe that once the Red Sox scurried home for the winter there might be a break from numbers. We know that a properly prepared goulash of stats can be concocted in a way to make them dance and sing to whatever tune the robot desires.

While baseball bears the ignominy of being the most analytically driven sport, it has been clear thar the never-ending number crunching infects all the others.

But to hear a Celtics coach say, in all earnestness, that they really didn’t play badly because when you hold a team to 25 points in three quarters you have a 69 percent chance to win the game is astonishing,

Let’s begin refuting that with the most obvious reality: The 76ers outscored them 39-27 in the second quarter and led for the entire second half.

I don’t know how to measure your chance of winning the game when allowing 39 points in one quarter, I don’t want to know.

That the head coach of the Celtics knows is worrisome.

Perhaps Mazzulla expressed some anger over his team’s performance in the relative privacy of the locker room. But a quick running of the numbers tell us there is only a 0.5 percent chance of that.

The Celtics need to hear a forceful growl telling them that defense is a four-quarter chore, that team meetings around the 3-point arc is unacceptable, and that they should capitalize on their ability to run a fast-break offense.

Someone must have the numbers to back that up.