Celtics: Under head coach Brad Stevens the Celtics have become the best defense team in terms of defensive rating and 3rd best in terms of points allowed. One reason for this is the Celtics length with wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum along with mobile Center Al Horford. This length and athleticism on the perimeter allows the Celtics to switch on everything to take away driving lanes. This switching has also been effective when guarding against the most efficient shots: 3-pointers and points in the paint. The Celtics are 1st in the NBA in opp 3 PT% at 34.1% as well as 8th best in opp points in the paint.
76ers: While the 76ers have been one of the best stories in the NBA with ROTY favorite Ben Simmons and top Center Joel Embiid, much of this success has come from their defense. Although the 76ers are only middle of the pack in scoring defense, (14th) they make it up with their defensive efficiency (5th). Again, one of the most important parts of an efficient defense is the ability to protect the rim and defend the 3-point line. With defensive anchor Joel Embiid averaging 1.8 BPG, Philly has become the 3rd best in terms of opp points in the paint. PG Ben Simmons is also a factor with this as his length at 6’10” and is not only a nuisance for guards, but he can also guard players at the C and PF positions. This allows for a great amount of switching which has been effective in limiting opp to 34.4% from 3 (3rd best). Jazz: The biggest factor leading the Jazz to the 2nd best defense in terms of opp scoring as well as defensive rating is DPOTY candidate Rudy Gobert. Averaging 2.3 BPG (3rd), Gobert has been the defensive anchor for a Jazz team that allows the 4th fewest points in the paint and 2nd fewest 2nd chance points. With his presence in the paint, it allows guards Mitchell, Rubio and Exum to play further up on shooters without the fear of a blow-by resulting in easy points at the basket. Because the guards are not down in the paint, it also allows them to get back in transition defense better as well as they have allowed the 3rd fewest fast break points.
You: Who is the best defensive team in the NBA and why?
It's GAMEDAY in New Orleans against the Pelicans tonight @6:00 Pm EST
- Kyrie Irving (knee) is uncertain as of now.
- Jaylen Brown remains out with concussion.
- Marcus Smart (thumb) is out.
- Daniel Theis (knee) out for the season.
- Gordon Hayward (ankle) out for the season.
Let's get this dub!! #CelticsNation