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Celtics Defending The 3 Point Shot Well Lately

The Pacers shot 19 shots from behind the arc the other night and made just one of them. We can chalk some of that up to plain old bad luck (or good luck for us, we do have a leprechaun and all). But you have to give some credit to the Celtics defense as well. Jay King takes a detailed look.

On Boston’s role in Indiana’s putrid shooting night | Celtics Town

When the Celtics are defending at their finest, they have always been characterized by a determination to leave no shot wide open. Watching all 19 three-point attempts by Indiana on Synergy sports, I determined that 14 of the threes were contested. Three of those were tightly contested, Boston forcing Indiana into miserable shots, and two additional threes were unfathomable pull-ups by Danny Granger.

Of the five shots the Celtics did not contest, one was designed that way, with Dahntay Jones left open in the corner while Boston’s defense metaphorically knelt ten feet away from him and prayed that he would shoot. On all but one of the other uncontested shots, the Celtics were either chasing Pacers around screens to attempt a contest, or a Celtic could be seen in the Pacers’ peripheral vision, sprinting from across the court in a late (but still noted) attempt to force a tougher three.

Anyone can say "no layups" but making sure that happens is another thing. Likewise, anyone can say "no uncontested 3's" but getting out to all the shooters is a lot harder to do. The Celtics, when they are playing their defense the way it should be, do it about as well as anyone.

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