The Boston Celtics are the number one team in the entire NBA. The offense, to the fans and critics surprise, has been in the bottom half of the league but look to be trending upward which is expected with so many young inexperienced players all playing together for their first year. The rebounding has also been a surprise , going from a bottom of the barrel team in rebounding last year to a tops of the league team this year in total rebounding and rebounding percentage. This is all fine and dandy and has for the most part each of these show promise for the future. Yet there is a much greater surprise that has trumped them all. The Celtics are the best defensive team in the league. This is not argumentative. Not only do the Celts average in the top half of the league in steals and blocks per game, but they also have the best defensive efficiency. Along with all of that they allow the least amount of points per game. This has easily been the greatest and grandest surprise so far.
A team losing two of the three best defenders in the league on the perimeter in Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, along with losing continuity, speed, and decreasing in spg should not be doing better than the previous year, forget the best in the league. The simple question that must be asked is how? It is nearly impossible to improve from a great defensive team to the best without any individual improvements at certain positions while in actually loosing great defenders. But that is all wrong. The importance is in pickups like Aaron Baynes, Marcus Morris, Jayson Tatum, and Kyrie Irving. They all share a commonality that players on the team in years past did not have. Height! Kyrie is no sky-scrapper but the Isaiah Thomas being much 5″ shorter makes a big difference. This height gives the team ability, to not only block shots but be able to switch who they are covering easily so that at all times a man has a hand in his face and a body in front of him. Guys like who have been able to play their real position (Power Forward) has had a great year as well defensively because of this ability to switch with the defenders around him and his innate sense to block the shots of incoming guards. This team is better then last years on both defense and offense as a whole and there is no more disputing that.