We talk about it constantly, and are always peering at the points per game allowed total to see where the Celtics stand. If they are playing great defense, more than likely they are winning games. Although they have played decent defense all year (good enough to be in and around the top spot in points per game allowed for the whole year) their offense, and defense has slacked at times. In the past, the team would use the defense to pick up the slack for the lack of offense. Therefore, if the Celtics weren’t scoring, the game change in score really didn’t fluctuate much, because the defense really locked down.
In some games we have not seen that, though. For example in the game against the Magic, the Celtics played a great 1st half, just to come out in the 3rd quarter to be outscored 36-11 (with a 19-0 run). As funny as it sounds, even with that 36 point quarter, the Magic still only scored 96 points. Now that is the point I am getting at. That third quarter that changed the score by 25 points relates to a slippage in both the offense, and the defense. More specifically the defense, though.
In last nights game against the Lakers, LA started to make a push in the fourth quarter. The C’s were really struggling to find any kind of offense. What changed this time, was the Celtics went back on what they know, and played defense like none other. The Lakers didn’t have an inch of space to get off a shot. Listen to this fact:
At 7:14 in the fourth quarter, the score was 84-80 Lakers. The Final score was 87-86 Celtics. To emphasize, that means in the final 7:14, the Lakers scored 2 POINTS.
When the offense couldn’t score, the defense made up for it. If you were fortunate enough to stay up late and watch, it was a thing of beauty. That is how the team of 07-08 got it done, and that is how the team got it done last night- the old, tough, grind it out and buckle down on defense to get the W.
(Photo Via AP at NBAYahooSports)