Celtics’ Luke Kornet Explains Odd Defensive Strategy Vs. Cavaliers

Kornet had a perfectly good explanation

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October 28, 2022

The Boston Celtics had very few answers on the defensive end Friday night, dropping their contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers, 132-123, in overtime at TD Garden.

In the second quarter, Kornet took an interesting approach when spotting Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro wide open in the corner for three. While Okoro raised to release the jumper, Kornet — standing in the paint — elected to jump anyways, despite standing nearly beneath the rim. An odd contest that proved effective with Okoro missing.

However, Kornet’s contest wasn’t some random attempt at viral humor. The 27-year-old explained that other players within the league have told Kornet that putting a hand up, even from afar, serves as an effective defensive scheme. Kornet also mentioned that he has no plans to abandon the unique contest unless the statistics prove otherwise.

“We’re visually dependent people, so yeah,” Kornet said, as transcribed by The Athletic’s Jay King.

Watch Kornet’s effective defensive contest here, courtesy of ESPN:

Kornet finished the night scoring four points, shooting 2-for-3 from the field with five rebounds and three assists off the bench.

While Kornet had a defensive focus against the Cavaliers, the Celtics did not.

Boston proceeded to allow the most points this season and has yet to hold their opponents to any scoring total less than 104 points. In their latest display of defensive woes, the Celtics were out-rebounded, yet again, with Cleveland totaling 42 to Boston’s 34. The Cavaliers scored 48 points in the paint and 24 off Celtics turnovers while also grabbing four more offensive rebounds (9-5).

The Celtics, amid some notable early season concerns, will look to bounce back against the Washington Wizards on Sunday. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET.

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