Monday, March 4, 2013
Boston's defensive improvement
By Joe Kaiser
The Celtics struggled mightily defending the perimeter during the first two months of the season, a stretch where Avery Bradley was forced to sit out while recovering from multiple offseason shoulder surgeries. But since Bradley's season debut on Jan. 2, that's all changed.
Brian Robb of CelticsHub.com explains just how drastic the C's defensive improvement has been with Bradley in the lineup.
"From the start of the 2013 calendar year, the Celtics have played 28 games. They ranked second in defensive efficency over that timespan behind the Indiana Pacers, despite being one of the worst 10 defensive rebounding teams in the league," Robb writes. "So how exactly have they overcome that hurdle? They’re defending the arc again, and are doing it better than ever.
"Since January 2nd, the Celtics have limited their opponents to just 30.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc, despite teams averaging over 20 attempts per game against them. The C’s opponents are taking plenty of 3-balls and aren’t converting. That 30.7 percentage is tops in the NBA and it has also translated well into their overall FG defense. Teams are shooting just 42 percent against the C’s in 2013, yet again the top number in the NBA over that stretch."
While Bradley's name came up in some trade rumors before the trade deadline, it's easy to see why the Celtics had no interest in moving him. His value to this team as an inexpensive young defender was far too great for Boston to swap him for a big man.