BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics have won five of their last six, and they’ve done so by playing some of the NBA’s best defense.
The C’s embarrassed the Rockets on Monday night, recording 16 steals and causing 22 Houston turnovers in a 111-95 win. Boston leads the NBA in forcing 19 turnovers per game, and rank fourth in opponents scoring, holding their opposition to 95.9 points per game, and third with a plus-6.6 point differential.READ MORE: Mass. Probation Department Under Scrutiny Again After Employees Report Structural Racism, Discrimination
Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday to discuss the gaudy defensive numbers the team has put up to start the new season, and said it’s clear that Brad Stevens has his squad focused on completely shutting teams down, bringing back memories of a recent title team in green.
“That’s the hallmark of this team and they’re fun to watch, because they just attack people. They’re stating to develop — I remember during the [Kevin] Garnett-[Ray] Allen days, I loved being on the road with those guys more than at home because they had an attitude. They went into buildings wanting to shut people down on the defensive end, and not necessarily just outscore them. This is the attitude this team has developed. They think they’re really good defensively, and they want to prove it.READ MORE: Former Celtics Player Jabari Bird Admits To Attacking, Choking Woman In 2018
“They’re led by Marcus smart, who has the best defensive instincts of anyone I’ve seen come into the league in… I can’t remembered how long,” added Gorman. “He sets the tone and they play hard. The games are fun and they’re physical. I told Brad Stevens I’d much rather watch them when they don’t have the ball than when they have the ball.”
Smart recently returned to the Boston lineup after being sidelined with a big toe injury, which paved the way for Isaiah Thomas to slot into the starting five. That move seems to have cured the early-game scoring woes the Celtics were suffering to start the season, but that doesn’t mean Thomas won’t return to the bench at some point this year.
“Avery [Bradley] has had two very strong games off the bench, and that helps,” said Gorman. “I think you do have to start Isaiah because of the slow starts; he gives you an offensive punch, so I’d say (start him) for now. But I don’t think any starting five is carved in stone. It depends on who they’re playing and who the matchups are.”MORE NEWS: Keller @ Large: Facebook Will Act On Misinformation When It Is Paid To
Gorman also touches on winning without a superstar in the NBA, and the Golden State Warriors’ 12-0 start: