The Boston Celtics are once again first in the NBA in Defensive Rating. The team rating is 100.4, ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.

I always look at cause and effect, so what happened? Are they putting more effort into team defense. That is for sure. So what caused more defensive effort to be exerted? Most likely the fact that this tired Celtics team has been able to get a bit of rest. They recently played only three games in seven days, all at TD Garden. Finally, a break.

Game-long, switching defense takes a toll on the players. Too many games crammed into too few days takes a toll. Travel? - ditto. The guys needed a few days of rest, and it came before the victorious rematch with the Cavaliers. It all worked. On to the second half of the season.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Tom Lane 1/04/2018 01:58:00 PM Edit
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