We've heard it before and we'll continue to hear it over and over again: Defense Wins Games.
That mantra held true for the Boston Celtics once again as they completely dominated the Charlotte Bobcats in front of owner Michael Jordan. The Celtics forced the Bobcats to shoot a measly 33.8 percent including 1-9 from three-point range, while forcing 20 turnovers that turned into 21 points.
The Celtics weren't exactly great on the offensive end themselves, shooting a season worse 43.7 percent, but they were able to outplay the Bobcats essentially from start to finish. The C's took the lead with 2:54 left to go in the first and never looked back. They were able to control the tempo of the game and completely took the Bobcats of what they like to do.
Perhaps the most important statistic of the night was the minimal amount of minutes the Celtics starters (expect Semih Erden) played. Kevin Garnett played 23 minutes, his lowest total since Nov. 17, in which the Celts defeated the Washington Wizards by 31 points.
Ray Allen played only 30 minutes, much better than his average 36.4 minutes/game. Paul Pierce, who recently climbed into the top 40 in terms of minutes/game, amassed 29 minutes in the win, six minutes less than his season average. Finally, Rajon Rondo had 31 minutes tonight, eight less from his 39.2 season average (top 10 in NBA).
Semih Erden once again stepped up big and continues to show improvement in his overall game. He's not a flashy player but he'll definitely make you smile. Semih finished the night with four blocks and truly made his presence know towards the end of the game when the Bobcats clearly appeared hesitant going towards the rim.
Next up, the Celtics will travel to New York to take on the red hot Knickerbockers. This match-up marks the first time in 17 years that both teams are over the .500 when facing off at this time during the season.