That's what Magic Johnson told Charles Barkley the other night.
"The Celtics can score with anyone, but teams fear their defense."
Sometime in the near future I plan to weigh in on the prevailing forecasts of basketball punditry regarding the likely outcome of a Celtics-Lakers Final. Let's just say that if Bynum comes back, it won't be pretty for the Green. If he doesn't return, they still like the Purple, just not as decisively.
The Celtics have the most stifling defense in the NBA, and, if you believe the likes of John Hollinger, the Celtics have one of the most stifling defenses in the history of modern professional basketball.
They can score the rock.
Do they play defense?
Not so much.
If you read between the lines, then, the Lakers and Celtics are a push on the offensive end, while the Celtics enjoy a considerable advantage on the defensive end.
So why on earth does everyone from Bill Simmons to Reggie Miller have the Lakers defeating the Celtics comfortably in June?
I wish I had an answer.
My undeveloped theory is that it's related to the Kobe-for-MVP campaign.
The NBA marketing machine loves the purple.