Stevens still not happy with Celtics' defense

Stevens still not happy with Celtics' defense
November 11, 2013, 7:15 pm
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BOSTON — As you look at the Boston Celtics' numbers defensively, you'll find that they are at or near the top in several categories.

But Celtics coach Brad Stevens isn't trying to hear that, not even after a 111-110 win over Miami.

Most folks remember the big shot made by Jeff Green at the buzzer.

Stevens is more concerned with how the Heat battered the Celtics on several fronts for most of the game.

"I'm probably the wrong person to ask about how good we are defensively right now," Stevens said. "I'm not as sold."

Even with the struggles Boston had defensively against the two-time NBA champion Miami Heat, the Celtics still rank sixth in the league in scoring defense (95.1), sixth in defensive rebounds per game (29.7) and tops in 3-point percentage defense (29.3 percent).

Rookie guard Phil Pressey said the players being able to effectively communicate has been a major factor in their defense.

"We're trusting in our coaches now; whatever they're telling us to do," Pressey told CSNNE.com. "We're really dialed in to what they're saying."

Pressey added, "but we can get a lot better."

Said Stevens: "We've tried at times to be really together and defend the way we need to. At other times, we just haven't been as effective as we need to."

Areas of improvement in Stevens' eyes, are plentiful even as the Celtics enter tonight's game riding a season-best three game winning streak.

"I would like to see us do a better job on the ball; I'd like to see us do a better job helping off the ball; I'd like to see us do a better job in rebounding," Stevens said. "There's so much room to improve. The last thing we can do is think that (Miami) game is anything more than we found a way to win.  We really didn't guard well enough to win that game 99 out of 100 times."

That's why Monday's game is more than just an opportunity to extend their winning streak, but also provides them with a chance to play the kind of defense that Stevens knows they need to win consistently.

"I don't think yet we've defended for a game, 48 minutes," Stevens said. "Maybe we can put that together soon."