You look up one morning and suddenly the Boston Celtics have a top 5 defense in the NBA! They're ranked 4th overall in Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) to be precise.
The Celtics rank fourth in defensive rating. What sorcery is this? https://t.co/7seYEeBULD— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) November 16, 2015
Sorcery, perhaps. The Celtics are currently holding teams to 94.4 points per 100 possessions which is a staggering 7.7 points less than the 102.1 rating they finished with for 2014-15.
When scanning through the stats for an explanation there's one thing that jumps out to me. The Celtics have only allowed a team to shoot over 35% from three in (1) ONE instance so far this season, their early loss to the Raptors who went 11-26 (42.3%) from long range.
Their opponents on the year from three:
- Sixers: 7-22 (31.8%) W
- Raptors: 11-26 (42.3%) L
- Spurs: 5-19 (26.3%) L
- Pacers: 8-23 (34.8%) L
- Wizards: 8-25 (32%) W
- Bucks: 6-17 (35.3%) W
- Pacers: 6-17 (35.3%) L
- Hawks: 6-20 (30%) W
- Thunder: 6-25 (24%) W
Total: 63-194 (32.5%)
In today's NBA it's imperative to guard the three point shot. The Celtics are proving that their ability to do so pays off.
What else have you seen so far this year to mark the Celtics' big defensive improvement?