Boston Celtics aiming for top-10 defense in 2016

Jae Crowder believes the Celtics can have a top-10 defense this season.
Greg M. Cooper/Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics don't have many gifted offensive weapons. Scoring the ball, once again, could be an issue this season. But defensively they're a tough bunch, with above-average individuals at just about every position.

Here's what a few players, including Jae Crowder, said to the Boston Herald when asked about Boston's goals on defense this season:

This side of the ball will be their calling card. Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart may be one of the best defensive backcourts in the league this year, and the addition of Amir Johnson will give Boston the rim protection they sorely missed last season.

Scoring points won't be a walk in the park for either side whenever the Celtics play.

After finishing well down the NBA list in Stevens’ first season in 2013-14, the Celtics finished 12th best in opponents points per possession in 2014-15, a ranking that jumped once the roster stabilized following last February’s trade deadline. Stevens mentioned that number often since the start of training camp, though when pressed for a projection, he has a stock answer: “Somewhere in the top 30.” The hope, naturally, is to move up from 12th best. “I think it’s going to go up,” Crowder said of that defensive rating. “We have the core to get better. We have a little rim protection now with Amir, we have David Lee, who can guard on pick-and-rolls. Guys really know how to play on the defensive end. I think we can grow.

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