1981-82 Boston Celtics
Whatever happened to the Celtics' team defense? After getting off to a sensational defensive start, the Celtics almost have become a neo-Denver, defeating most foes by the simple expedient of scoring more points.
Consider that in their first 24 games, the Celtics were the league's leading defensive team on the basis of fewest points allowed per game. Only 10 of their first 24 foes managed to crack 100 points, and only three of those teams exceeded 103 points. Only two scored more than 106.
But in the games prior to their last encounter, the Celtics had kept only three teams under 100. Five foes had scored more than 120 (one, Philadelphia, doing it in overtime) and one (Kansas City, also in OT) had scored 119. No one seems to have any explanation.