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.
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.