Celts’ Key to Success: Outscoring Opponents!

The key to basketball isn’t preventing this from happening, it’s preventing this from happening to your basket while simultaneously (or directly thereafter) causing this to happen at the opponent’s rim.

People love to flout the “defense wins championships” mantra whenever a team tries to outscore opponents (Phoenix Suns, 2008 New England Patriots, ’80s Edmonton Oilers, New York Yankees perennially) rather than inscore them, but I’m not a believer in such nonsense.  Scoring more points/goals/runs wins games, and it doesn’t matter how you do so.

Which leads me to your 2007-2008 Boston Celtics.  They score plenty (100.5 a game) and give up far less (90.3).  Sounds like a sound strategy.

It is, but unfortunately the media is usually old school and will pound that defense wins championships crap into our heads until the Celtics bow out or banner out, whichever comes first.  So, somewhat regretfully, I’m going to inform you of some pretty impressive defensive numbers this season, ones that show that defense doesn’t just win championships, it also wins games!

Fortunately ESPN.com is letting all its readers, for lack of a better word, read this article, so I’ll link to John Hollinger’s All-Defensive Team.

The amazing thing about Hollinger’s team is quite clear–the Celtics have either an honorable mention or a full-fledged fictional team member at every position.  That’s Rajon Rondo (first team), Tony Allen (honorable mention), Paul Pierce (third team), Kendrick Perkins (honorable mention), and Kevin Garnett (first team and Defensive Player of the Year).  Pretty remarkable.

My conclusions:

Make Tom Thibodeau Associate Head Coach or whatever it takes for him to stay next year, because if he isn’t the number one candidate for almost every opening in the League this summer, there’s something very wrong.  Boston should re-sign Tony Allen.  Oh, and keep scoring a lot too, because even 90 points per game are too many if you only score 89.

4 Responses to Celts’ Key to Success: Outscoring Opponents!

  1. fouledout says:

    defensive stops make the difference in a basketball game. you can try to outscore your opponents all you want and still end up losing (like the denver nuggets). scoring is really important in basketball, but a team needs to have defensive stops to prevent opponents from catching up..

  2. [...] Season The Wizards (for some reason) own the Celtics SI.com Arenas goes silent The Sports Beat Celts key to success: Outscoring opponents Give Me the Rock Who to play and who to sit: an Eastern conference rundown Truth About It Wizards [...]

  3. Fred says:

    Very witty remarks–and right on. I’ve always wished some announcer would answer, when asked what is the key to winning tonight’s game, “Outscoring the opponent, Bob. In order to win tonight, the Celtics will have to score more points than the Cavs. But on the other hand, the Cavs will have to do the same, if they are to upset the C’s.”

  4. Sportsattitude says:

    I love what Fred commented on. I often find myself answering the question the same way when asked by other fans…yep, they’ll probably have to outscore the other team. Always a great discussion when you get into that “defense wins championships” argument. At the end of the day, you do have to score one more point than your opponent and defense is one way to do that. So is scoring the ball. It’s a circular discussion. I just hope the Western Conference playoffs live up to the hype and a lot of points are scored. I could care less who plays defense and who doesn’t – I want points. I think fans of the NBA are pretty weary of 71-70 Spurs-Pistons games and the romanticism of defense needs to take a walk this year. Bring on the buckets!

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