Celtics’ Ime Udoka Responds To Nets’ Bruce Brown’s Comments

'We still have two high-level defenders back there'


Apr 13, 2022

With Celtics center Robert Williams sidelined, Brooklyn Nets combo guard Bruce Brown believes there’s a weakness in the interior of Boston’s defense.

Ime Udoka isn’t buying it.

One day after Brown said the Nets had an advantage in attacking Boston’s big men in Daniel Theis and Al Horford in their upcoming first-round matchup of the NBA playoffs, Udoka responded Wednesday that the Celtics’ defense, especially in the paint, will be just fine without Williams.

“We still have two high-level defenders back there, big guys with Daniel and Al,” Udoka told reporters, per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “And we have layers to our defense, so it’s not like we’re getting blown by when Rob is protecting. We still have Marcus (Smart), Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum) and everybody else in-between. So, we know how he scores and how he attacks in a lot of drop situations, so we can take that away by how we want to guard.

“They think it’s attack time because Rob’s out. Obviously, we’ve played quite a few games without him now and have done good enough and beaten some good teams.”

The Celtics boast the best defensive rating in the NBA going into the playoffs, and even in the final seven games of the regular season with Williams out due to a torn meniscus, Boston was top-10 in the league in that defensive metric.

But following Brooklyn’s 115-108 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday in the play-in tournament, Bruce Brown critiqued a Celtics’ defense that doesn’t have their anchor in the middle.

“Them not having Robert Williams is huge,” Brown said, via Washburn. “We can attack Theis and Horford in the paint.”

Bruce Brown’s comments might come back to haunt him when the Celtics and Nets begin their playoff series Sunday at TD Garden at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images
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