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News » 'D' - as in dominating

'D' - as in dominating

'D' - as in dominating BOSTON -- You've got to be a very particular sort of person to appreciate the theme music for the 2009-10 Boston Celtics .

It's a melody only a Celtics player can truly love. The clank of a misfired shot. The gasp of an opposing player as he sees his pass intercepted. The buzzer sounding to signify a shot clock violation.

Sweet, sweet music.

The stated goal of these Celtics is to be the greatest defensive Basketball team to ever lace up sneakers and step on a Basketball court. Holding an NBA team to 59 points certainly qualifies as a dominating performance. After all, in Basketball they still give points out in 2s and 3s.

"I think, defensively, we locked in," Celtics guard Ray Allen said after the Celtics' 92-59 victory last night.

If that isn't the definition of an understatement ... well, just trust me. It is the definition of an understatement.

The visitors at TD Garden managed just 23 field goals in 48 minutes. Charlotte didn't make a single 3-point basket in the game. Only one Bobcats player, forward Gerald Wallace, even scored 10 points. Heck, the team just barely scored 10 points in the entire third quarter. Even then, they needed a Raymond Felton runner at the buzzer just to get to 10.

Since the Bobcats clearly weren't putting the ball in the basket, what were they doing with it?

Well, Charlotte generously gave it back to Boston quite a few times (21 turnovers). The Bobcats also had an affinity for missing shots (they were just 23-of-74 or 31 percent).

Apparently, the defense was so intimidating that Charlotte even missed a large chunk of its free throws (13-of-25 from the foul line).

Then again, I guess that is understandable. They probably figured someone was going to swoop in and block their free throws considering Boston swatted eight shots in the game.

"When we're talking on defense, it starts with Rondo at the top and Kevin in the back, guys helping each other," Celtics captain Paul Pierce said. "And we always stress hot hands, when we're able to get in the passing lanes, force turnvoers, get out on a break -- it makes it easier when you're doing those things."

When informed that 59 points was the lowest total in the Bobcats' franchise history, center Kendrick Perkins couldn't help but puff out his chest a little bit.

"That's something that we actually can be happy about," said the usually stoic Perkins, who blocked four shots. "We take pride in our defense."

It's true the Bobcats roster doesn't feature names like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant, but they've had success against the Celtics in recent years.

Boston won the battle against superstars LeBron and Shaquille O'Neal on Tuesday night, but I'm really impressed by the way the Celtics thoroughly dismantled a team that has consistently given them trouble.

The Bobcats for whatever reason seem to play the Celtics the way you'd expect the Cavaliers, Magic, or the Lakers to play them.

Boston had won five of the last seven meetings coming into last night, but those meetings have included three overtime periods, and three Boston wins by five points or less.

And let's not forget, the Bobcats actually won a pair of games against these Celtics machines of the past two seasons, one last year and one the season before.

The Bobcats ran into a team on an entirely different wavelength last night.

"I thought it was great," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said, assessing his team's defensive performance. "I thought, obviously, (we were) very active early. Last two nights, I though it has been absolutely wonderful."

They've got some hurdles left to clear in order to earn the spot as a legendary defensive team, but they couldn't ask for a much better starting point.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 30, 2009


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