Sports News

Jrue Holiday praises Celtics’ defense, including the ‘white guys’

MIAMI — When the Celtics traded for Jrue Holiday right before the start of the season, one of the best defensive players in the league was coming to Boston. But the Celtics already employed strong defenders up and down their roster as the Holiday acquisition fit naturally into the rest of the roster.

Now that the Celtics are in the playoffs, that defense has led the way in their wins. The C’s allowed just 12 points to the Heat in the first quarter of Game 3 on their way to a 104-84 win Saturday at the Kaseya Center. And part of the Celtics’ strengths comes from their strong one-on-one defenders.

“We have the talent for it,” Holiday said. “I don’t think we have any weaknesses defensively. We knew as a group we can do a great job when we’re locked in. But I think one-on-one is sometimes where it gets a little tricky when you have great one-on-one defenders.


   fanatics logo black


       Fanatics Sportsbook
       10X$100 BONUS BET





     Must be 21+. GAMBLING PROBLEM? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (CO, KY ,MD, OH, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV); (888) 789-7777 or (CT); 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA); (800) 327-5050 or (MA), (MD), (WV)


“Before I was here, they always talked about guys on this team that could play defense. And now that I got here, they all play defense. You talk about the white guys, the white guys play defense. Everybody likes to go at them, but I think one-on-one they’re pretty locked in defensively.”

Holiday pointing out some of his teammates shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. C’s coach Joe Mazzulla said the same thing about Sam Hauser, where people assume he can’t play defense because he’s a “white shooter.” But Hauser has held up in one-on-one scenarios where teams try to isolate and go at him.

Payton Pritchard has also been a difference-maker on defense through his effort. While teams will try to also pick on him because of his height, Pritchard has proven he can make an impact with his hustle. He also flies in for offensive rebounds as the guard is all about high-energy plays when he’s on the court. Mazzulla has also praised Luke Kornet for the big man’s mastery of the Celtics’ defensive system.

So all in all, the Celtics just employ strong defenders up and down their roster. Their entire starting lineup has been impressive defensively, led by Jaylen Brown throughout the year. The point of attack defense, especially, is one of their strengths as they have also have willing defenders. That buy-in makes life easy for the Celtics as everyone has bought into their scheme.

“That’s a strength of this team over the course of a season and really since I’ve been here is the best players take on the challenge defensively,” Mazzulla said. “And it’s even more of a challenge and an opportunity during the playoffs and we just have to answer the call for that. I thought he had moments of that so we’ve just gotta continue to answer the call to their defensive physicality if necessary.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button