Two good links on the importance of defense.
First the Painted Area breaks down our pick and roll defense. (with videos and everything)
The goals of the Celtics' defense are a) to keep Kobe away from the basket, b) to run him off of the three-point line, and c) to keep him off the foul line. Even with a small sample size, these numbers suggest the Celtics have done a tremendous job on the first two counts, as Kobe's percentage of FGAs taken either At the Hoop or from 3-Pt Land has plummeted from 54.8% in the regular season to just 39.4% in the Finals.
Quite simply, Boston is forcing Kobe to take 2-pt jumpers under duress. He did erupt for four 3s in the first quarter of Game 5, but a couple of those were tough shots that Boston can live with.
Next, Empty The Bench pens a love letter to good defense:
As the old saying goes, defense wins championships. Go down the list of NBA champions over the past 20 years and you’ll find that most all of them employed solid team-defense tactics fully capable of orchestrating a stop when needed most. Sure, not all of them were infallible units on par with the San Antonio Spurs championship run of the ’00s or these ‘08 Boston Celtics, but most of them have hung their hat to some degree on their ability to stop their opponent. That ability, my friends, is a beautiful thing and most certainly not an easy thing to instill in today’s NBA player. And it’s an ability that should be treasured, not reviled.