Two days ago I observed that the often cautious Danny Ainge spoke without qualification in calling out the 2008 Celtics as the best defensive team of its era. Bold words, no doubt. I agreed that the defense has been stifling, but said I'd need to see some more proof before paying homage (a championship wouldn't hurt either).
Well, Ainge must have seen the numbers that I wasn't privy to, because today I got some additional proof.
According to John Hollinger, Tommy Thibodeau's defense ranks third all time. Yes, that is correct. Not just third since the turn of the millennium. Not just third since Pat Riley's 1994 New York Knicks. But third best ever.
Hollinger doesn't elaborate, cite any sources, or provide any links to substantiate his claim.
Maybe one of you know what he's relying on.