Boston Celtics: Team Defense Has Been Key to Staying Competitive

By Ryan Heckman


Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics haven’t had a particularly great season thus far in comparison to where they’ve been in the previous few years. However, in a weak Eastern Conference, the Celtics currently hold the eighth seed with a record of 7-11 and have kept things competitive in most of their contests this year.

While they haven’t had much to hang their hat on, especially offensively, Boston has stayed in the thick of the conference by playing very good defense. If there’s one thing that you can guarantee you’ll get when playing the Celtics, it’s going to be a fight to get to 100 points.

Boston has given up the 8th-least points per game this year at just 96.9. Out of their 18 games thus far, Boston has given up less than 100 points in 10 of them. In another six of those games, they’ve allowed less than 110. The Celtics may not have any player averaging more than 7.0 rebounds or 1.3 blocks, the Boston has kept games competitive on the defensive side of the ball.

If the Celtics are truly in rebuilding mode and are focused 100 percent on the future, then they may not have the motivation to win as much right now. Of course, professional athletes always want to be competitive and play their hardest, but the Celtics’ front office seems to have made it clear they are in the game of rebuilding, and as some may have predicted, tanking.

It has been a breath of fresh air to see that, at least, the Celtics are not engaged in tanking at this point. I’m sure they realize that they won’t be winning a championship this season. After all, a first round matchup with either the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers would be an automatic first-round out. But, they can’t forget they’ll have money to spend next summer. It’s not all about the draft, necessarily.

The Celtics have some young players that understand playing team defense is their first priority. If they can find a way to add some more talent in the upcoming offseason and pair it with a couple of key, young guys they already have like Jared Sullinger and Jordan Crawford, as well as the 27-year old Jeff Green, 2014 will be a much-improved year after this full season of learning.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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