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The Celtics defense still their calling card

Posted by shawn cassidy on December 6, 2013 at 5:15 AM

The Celtics defense was their calling card for the past 6 seasons, and once KG was shipped out to Brooklyn that staple seemed dead. The Celtics rank ninth in defensive efficiency after 20 games. According to Synergy Sports, they are 13th at defending the ball handler in pick and rolls, and fifth at defending the roll man and the Celtics have given the praise to Bass for the top defensive stats.The Celtics also lead the NBA in holding their oppents to just .328% from three.


Players have sung the praises of Brandon Bass as being instrumental in the team's success defensively.

"He brings energy every night," said Jordan Crawford. "You know what you're going to get out of B-Bass. He's talking on defense, just being more of a leader, the anchor in the back of the defense."

Despite a less-than-stellar record (8-12), the struggles certainly haven't been because of shoddy defense.

In addition to ranking among the teams giving up the least amount of points this season, the Celtics defensive rating is 101.4, which ranks ninth in the NBA.

Last season, the team had a defensive rating of 100.4, which was the sixth-best mark in the league.

In addition to Bass, Jared Sullinger credits assistant coach Ron Adams for also playing a vital role in the Celtics maintaining a solid defense.

Adams came to Boston from Chicago, where he was instrumental, under the leadership of former Celtic assistant and current Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, in helping the Bulls become one of the NBA's best all-around defenses.

"He knows his stuff," Sullinger said.

Crawford said Adams placing an emphasis on the minor details of defense has been a huge plus for the Celtics this season.

"The little things, have a hand up, make the pass harder, help-side, close out on shooters ... the extra effort parts that make the defense better."

And while there's certainly plenty of room for the Celtics defense to improve upon, considering how they have come together after just a couple months of playing with one another, is encouraging.

"From where we started from and where we're at now, is a big difference," Sullinger said. "Especially after the first couple games, I just thought it was going to go down hill from there. Guys really locked in. As a team we came together and understood that we have to play as a team to win basketball games. Defensively, we're making the right rotations defensively for us to put ourselves in a position to win."

Rondo will need to take this defense to the next level. Rondo's reputation has taken a hit on the defensive end. Rondo has been one of the best defensive players in the past 5 years, but his gambling on the defensive has become a bit risky. If Rondo can return to his old ways on the defensive end this team will make some noise in the playoffs if they continue to win.

We've seen first hand that defense wins championships. With the system and expectations being set. The Celtics defensive game will remain one of the leagues best.

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1 Comment

Reply Greg
11:25 AM on December 6, 2013 
Bass has learned from the best. Let's hope Bass teaches the other guys,and that they continue to lean on defense.