Can Boston's stifling defense make up for their average offense

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    Re: Can Boston's stifling defense make up for their average offense

    In response to Kirk6's comment:

    Can a stifling defense make up for an average-at-best offense? That's what the Boston Celtics are trying to find out after losing All-Star point guard and offensive quarterback Rajon Rondo for the season.

    Early numbers are encouraging: Over the three games since Rondo was lost for the season with a torn ACL, Boston has posted a defensive rating (points per 100 possessions) of a measly 87.9. The closest team during that span (Washington, surprisingly) is 6½ points worse. The Magic team that Boston defeated on Friday night for its third consecutive win? They have a defensive rating of 115 over their past three games (27.1 points worse than Boston in that span).

    By shifting Courtney Lee to a starting role alongside Avery Bradley, Boston has paired its top defensive guards alongside veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The starting five took a second jolt when recently elevated rookie forward Jared Sullinger underwent season-ending back surgery on Friday, but Brandon Bass was one of the league's top individual defenders by season's end last year and shouldn't compromise that defensive focus.

    Boston's core starters are a rather relentless group hell-bent on making life miserable for opposing offenses. It starts with Bradley and Lee, playfully nicknamed The Pitbulls, who have ramped up their on-ball pressure in hopes of preventing opponents from getting into their sets early and driving down quality looks.

    It's working. Over the past three games, opponents have shot a mere 39.2 percent against Boston while scoring just 82 points per game. Boston is taking pressure off its own offense by limiting opponents' output.

    Nothing that a "big man" couldn't cure !!!

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