Jrue Holiday sends eyebrow-raising but supportive message on Boston Celtics' stay-ready group

Apr 24, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) reacts after a foul
Apr 24, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) reacts after a foul / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jrue Holiday gave props to the Boston Celtics' stay-ready group -- specifically, the white guys, Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser, and Luke Kornet -- after a dominant defensive effort during a Game 3 victory in which the Cs held the Miami Heat to just 84 points; Pritchard, Hauser, and Kornet playing a combined 50 minutes in the effort.

Holiday called out the media for referring to the Celtics' second unit as sub-par individual defenders post-game.

“Before I was here, they always talked about guys on this team that could play defense," Holiday said (h/t MassLive). "And now that I got here, they all play defense. You talk about the white guys, the white guys play defense. Everybody likes to go at them, but I think one-on-one they’re pretty locked in defensively.”

Prior to his eyebrow-raising call-out of the media, Holiday proclaimed that Boston doesn't have any weaknesses defensively.

“I don’t think we have any weaknesses defensively," Holiday prefaced before saying, "We knew as a group we can do a great job when we’re locked in. But I think one-on-one is sometimes where it gets a little tricky when you have great one-on-one defenders."

Boston Celtics defense has not been the problem in Heat series

Even when Miami show 23/43 from beyond the arc in Game 2, the Celtics were able to keep things interesting in the fourth quarter before succumbing by 10 points. The Heat scored 111 points in Game 2, which was the only game of the series the Cs ceded 100 points.

It's hard to point to the defense as being a problem in this series, and besides Game 2, the offense can't be scapegoated as a problem either. Kristaps Porzingis's poor shooting was the biggest issue during Boston's lone loss, but that was quickly corrected in Game 3.

Defense wins championships, so if the Celtics resemble the odd-number games in this series, and not the poor defending perimeter team in Game 2, you have to feel good about how this postseason may end.