The Celtics started out the season a lot shakier than they had hoped. Isiah Thomas started criticizing the team, especially on defense. Those woes got worse when All Star Al Horford missed several games due to a concussion.
But after winning 3 of their last 5 games, they feel like they’re back on track. The improved defense is a major factor. While they rank 20th in points per possession in the NBA right now, over their last 5 games they rank 3rd. The players believe that the defensive improvements are a direct result of the players only meeting they held after a 118-96 blowout loss to the Wizards.
We had to look ourselves in the mirror and come to the conclusion that it is us and we’re the ones playing and that we have to get it together,” Marcus Smart told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.
It’s clear that the defense is right where they want it to be. In all three wins, they’ve held opponents to under 100 points. Their only two losses were a last second heart breaker to the Pelicans, in which they lost by 1, and a bigger loss to the Golden State Warriors, which virtually no one can expect to beat given their roster.