In the Bonus: Celtics interior 'D' needs work

In the Bonus: Celtics interior 'D' needs work
March 30, 2014, 5:30 pm
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BOSTON — The Celtics' defense has been getting progressively worse as the season goes along.

Nowhere is this more noticeable than the E-Z Pass-like resistance they have shown teams looking to score around the basket. In March, opponents have shot 59.5 percent in the paint against Boston which is easily their worst month of the season in that category.

Teams have lately exposed what has been a major concern for the Celtics all season which has been their lack of a true post defender. Boston's big man rotation consists of Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. All are 6-9 or shorter with the exception of Olynyk who is 7-feet tall. However, he was a point guard in high school until a major growth spurt shifted him to the frontcourt at Gonzaga.

Because of that, Olynyk has been learning how to play -- and more specifically, defend -- the post for only a few years.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens understands how challenging this season has been for his big men, especially on defense.

"Humphries is put in a position where he's gotta guard fives (centers). Sully has had moments where he has been very good guarding fives; other times he hasn't. He has struggled," Stevens said. "Everybody has their struggles on both ends."

However, Stevens would like to see them use their strengths relative to their matchups, more to their advantage.

"What I'd like to see those guys do is use their athleticism, Bass and Humphries, a little more," Stevens said.