Nate McMillan was asked after the game whether the Celtics’ defense, which held Portland to a season-low 33.8% to go along with a measly 76 points, was the best Portland had faced all season. (ESPNBoston)
“No, I thought the Lakers, when they came in, a big team like that played well here,” said McMillan. “For whatever reason, we are getting off to some poor starts here. I thought tonight we didn’t have our rhythm, but, defensively, is where it starts. They pretty much got what they wanted in that first quarter and pretty much throughout the game.”
But Rudy Fernandez, who saw how good the C’s help defense could be when he was called for two consecutive charges to help quell a Blazers rally, disagreed with his coach. He thinks Portland could learn a thing or two from Boston’s stifling “D”. (NBA.com)
“That’s the best defense we’ve seen all season,” Fernandez said. “We have to learn from the way they play.”
Doc Rivers didn’t go so far as to say that Boston has the best defensive unit in the league, but had to admit he was happy with the Celtics’ effort on the gritty side of the floor. (ESPNBoston)
“Ball movement was terrific, but defense, No. 1, was terrific,” said Rivers.
Even McMillan was impressed by the physicality of the Boston defense, saying the way Boston played was how he wished his own squad had performed. (Portland Tribune)
“The way (the Celtics) played the game was our game plan – to be the aggressors defensively, get up into their chests, beat them to their spots,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said.
But with all the talk surrounding Boston’s defensive efforts, perhaps Kendrick Perkins said it best. (CSNNE)
“We’re starting to get on the same page,” he said. “Guys are talking more. We’re getting back to our old self.”
“We’re getting back to our old self.”
Let’s just hope they don’t have a relapse any time soon.