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First to the Floor: things are looking up for the Celtics

The Celtics are finding their stretch as they head into the final stretch of the season.

Philadelphia 76ers (99) Vs. Boston Celtics (106) At TD Garden Photo by Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

On this episode, Jake and I make our case for All-NBA-ylen Brown and bask in some real, honest positivity. After going through their toughest stretch of the season, things are looking awfully good for the Celtics after coming home from their west coast road trip. Radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande had these extremely encouraging stats after Sunday’s obliteration of the Spurs.

While that’s obviously a small sample size, given how bleak it looked during that three-game skid a few weeks ago, I’ll take anything I can get at this point. Nonetheless, the defense picking up has actually been a months long trend that started with, not so coincidentally, Rob’s original return to the lineup in December.

That’s right, since Rob’s first game back on December 14th, the Celtics have the NBA’s best defense by a whopping, uncatchable .1 points per 100 possessions. The Cs also lead the league in net rating, defensive rebound percentage, and are top 5 in assist percentage since that date despite the offense being “only” above average at 8th in the league.

The hot start from the Celtics was extremely fun, but it was always going to be short lived. You simply can’t shoot close to 50% from 3 as a team for an entire season and playoffs. It’s not possible unless you are a team made entirely of Kyle Korvers, and in that case, I don’t expect that team to lead the league in rebound percentage.

The Celtics are playing a much more sustainable brand of winning basketball, even if sometimes it’s a bit ugly to watch (see: the recent win over Minnesota). Playing elite defense, taking care of the glass, and doing enough on offense is the same recipe the Cs took all the way to the Finals last year. Let’s hope they can ride that one more step this season.

Just a quick aside: First to the Floor has left the CelticsBlog podcast feed, and we can be found on our own feed, aptly named “First to the Floor.” I hope you enjoy this episode and please subscribe to the First to the Floor podcast feed and our YouTube channel. We really appreciate all the support and thanks for listening!

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