It’s not an exaggeration to say the Boston Celtics are the best defensive team in the NBA right now.
Boston currently is second in the league in defensive rating at 104.9 — behind just the Golden State Warriors — but since Jan. 1 have been the best team in the league by a wide margin. The Celtics have a 100.9 defensive rating in 24 games since the new year began and the Dallas Mavericks are in second place at 105.0.
The Celtics are 17-7 since the calendar turned and return to action Thursday night against the Brooklyn Nets. Head coach Steve Nash had some high praise for the Boston defense.
“They’re playing incredible basketball,” Nash said via league-provided audio. “They’re far and away the best defensive team in 2022.”
Boston entered the break with a heartbreaking one-point loss against the Detroit Pistons to snap its nine-game win streak, but has held opponents under 100 points in seven of its last 10 games.
The Celtics blew out the Nets on Feb. 8 by 35 points and will look to repeat the performance Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at Barclays Center.