Good defense creates offense, and the Boston Celtics live and die by that.
Especially in the 2020 NBA playoffs, where they’ve separated themselves significantly from the rest of the league.
In fact, since the beginning of the postseason in the NBA bubble, the Celtics lead the league in almost every defensive category, as noted by Celtics writer Marc D’Amico.
Check out this excerpt from his piece Tuesday:
(Boston’s) defensive rating is 101.8, far ahead of Houston?s second-rated mark of 103.6.
It is limiting opponents to just 98.7 points per game, miles ahead of Houston?s mark of 104.7, which ranks second.
It is holding opponents to just 40.1 percent shooting from the field, well ahead of Toronto?s No. 2-rated mark of 43.0 percent.
And it is limiting opponents to just 29.2 percent shooting from 3-point range, a significant gap below Houston?s second-rated mark of 33.3 percent.
To put the greatness of Boston?s defensive run into further perspective, its defensive rating this postseason would be the best mark by any team since the 2016 Spurs if it holds or improves through the completion of the season.
That intense defense is led by Marcus Smart, who on Tuesday received All-Defensive First Team nods.
And it will need to be in full effect Wednesday as the Celtics look to close out their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Toronto Raptors.
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