Disturbing Trend or Aberation?

As the February 5th rematch against the Lakers draws closer, I sense history making an attempt to repeat itself. Prior to the first meeting, our stellar defense took some games off. Instead of holding teams below 90 points and below 45% from the field during the lead-up to Green-Purple I, the Celtics decided that defense wasn't as important as they once thought, and were now trying simply to outscore their opponents.

The below chart illustrates. In four of the five games preceding the loss at Staples, the opponent either scored more than 90 points against the Celtics, shot 45% or better from field, or both. During the SLUMP, in which we lost 7 of 9, the opponent scored more than 90 points and shot better than 45% in every loss but one, the loss to the Knicks, who scored 100 points but only shot .415.

In the first seven wins of the latest winning streak, the Celtics defensive dominance returned for the most part. In all but one of those seven games, the Celtics held their opponents to less than 90 points, held their opponents to less than 45% from the field, or both. But in the last two games, the Celtics have given up 100 points twice, and Sacramento inched very close to the 45% marker.

Defense wins championships, of course. But during the regular season, defense wins big games. Outscoring the opponent is always the goal, but for the Celtics to thrive on all cylinders, their defense must fuel their offense by getting stops when they need them. The mindset of a Western Conference shootout where we simply outhoist the opponent isn't one that will take us very far.

I'm not sure what that last two games tell us. So let's see where the Green's D goes from here.


SAC 100 .440 W

DAL 100 .421 W

ORL 80 .382 W

MIA 83 .400 W

PHO 87 .472 W

NJ 85 .405 W

NJ 86 .388 W

TOR 109 .476 W

TOR 88 .378 W

CLEV 98 .508 L

HOUS 89 .486 L

CATS 114 .481 L

NY 100 .415 L

WASH 83 .383 W

PORT 91 .452 L

SAC 63 .279 W

GS 99 .458 L

LA 92 .462 L

PHI 91 .481 W

NY 105 .434 W

CHI 108 .506 W

ATL 85 .367 W

UT 91 .459 W

NO 82 .354 W

WA 88 .431 W

IN 117 .506 W

PORT 78 .426 W

IN 96 .440 W

ORL 88 .420 W

CATS 84 .478 W

PHI 78 .416 W

GS 111 .496 W


1111 said...


the last 2 game where (expecially Dallas) a blowout. Difficult to commit to defens on a regular season game when u up by 20+...

Lex said...

Hope you are right.

Let's see how tonight goes.

Anonymous said...

Laker gave up 117 points to the Wolves...Not impressed at all with the Laker 'defense'

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