I first heard the statement "defense wins championship, offense sells tickets" when I was at a basketball camp during my early teen years. At that point I did not have a great knowledge about the in's and out's of basketball. It wasn't until the 2007-2008 Celtics season that I finally came to realize that great defense will beat a great offense any day of the week.
This year's Celtics squad is very similar to the championship team two years ago. Just like the 2007-2008 team, this year's Celtics team is focused on defense. So far this year that has proven true, and the Celtics are still yet to give up more than 90 points a game.
With 4:37 left in tonights game I did not think that it would be possible to keep this streak going. The Celtics had given up 88 points in the first 44 minutes of play, and I thought for sure that Minnesota would atleast get to the 90 point mark, if not the 100 mark. Instead the Celtics played in your face, error-forcing defense that held Minnesota to 2 points in the final 4:37 of play.
On a night when the offense wasn't exactly at its best the Celtics were still able to come out with a close win, thanks to another good defensive performance. This kind of determination and success on the defensive end is just another reason why the Celtics are clearly favorites to become NBA champions. The key defensive play came with 3 seconds remaining in the game. The T'Wolves were down 2 points looking to tie or win the game with the final shot. Corey Brewer got the ball, drove to the hoop, and KG tied him up to force a jump ball. That ultimately sealed the game, as KG tipped the ball down the court on the jump.
These kinds of smart plays in the clutch will turn out huge down the stretch. A veteran team, and a great defense are not something any team wants to be up against in a nail biting game. Until the Celtics show to us they can't come through defensively in the clutch, don't worry if they are only up two with 30 seconds left. More than likely they will make a huge stop and put a tally in the win column.
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