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Malcolm Brogdon praises Celtics defensive efforts: ‘a championship characteristic’

Boston held Miami to just 104 points in their win on Friday night.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Two games against playoff teams, two wins for the Boston Celtics. Despite missing some key players due to injury and getting used to a new head coach in the lead seat, the Celtics have started the season with a bang.

The Celtics took down the Miami Heat on Friday night, earning a 111-104 victory. Even without the presence of Robert Williams, they were able to get the best of Miami on the defensive end.

After the game, head coach Joe Mazzulla expressed gratitude for his team’s willingness to give their all on defense.

“I love that our guys love playing defense. And anytime you have a group of guys that love defense, you have a chance to be special. And since I’ve been here as a Celtic, every guy on this team has loved playing defense.”

The Heat ended up shooting 45.7% from the field, but Boston managed to hold them to 8-of-26 (30.8%) shooting from behind the three-point line. Tyler Herro and Max Strus combined to shoot just 2-of-9 shooting from distance.

Malcolm Brogdon, the Celtics’ newest addition, said that he enjoys playing on a defensive-minded team for the first time in his career, calling it a “championship characteristic.”

“It’s very special. I haven’t played on a team like this, where one through five, everybody that’s on the floor takes pride on the defensive end. It’s a championship characteristic for sure.”

Boston recorded four steals and 11 blocks in their hard fought win over Miami. They punished the Heat’s smaller lineups, as Bam Adebayo got into foul trouble, and backup big man Omer Yurtseven was out with an injury. In fact, five different Celtics players notched two or more blocks. Oddly enough, Derrick White led the way with three.

Three of the Celtics’ 11 blocks were on jump shots which is a testament to their stifling perimeter defense. With Williams out, Boston’s focus will have to be on stopping pressure on the outside rather than denying shots in the paint. (Although their win over Miami proved they can still do both.)

Jaylen Brown also touched on their physicality as a unit, noting that “if we come out and be the more physical team, it’s going to be tough to beat us.”

On top of that, the big man rotation was tested in back-to-back games and passed with flying colors, as Noah Vonleh put on an impressive performance against Miami, backing up Al Horford.

However, they will face another challenge in the form of a back-to-back against the Orlando Magic, who employ a multitude of big men such as Wendell Carter Jr., Mo Bamba, Bol Bol, and #1 overall pick Paolo Banchero. And considering Horford played over 33 minutes against Miami, the backups could be called on even more in Orlando.

That game will tip off on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. EST.

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