As our Boston Celtics approach the start of the 2012-13 NBA Season, it’s easy to get carried away with team depth and the array of scoring options at hand. Without question, both will play a vital role if Boston is to win an NBA Championship. But the single-most important attribute will be an uncommon commitment to playing team defense. Every team preaches it, but only the championship teams have the intestinal fortitude to pull it off.
Defense, of course, starts with Kevin Garnett. He sets the tone, and everyone else falls into place. But the rest of the team needs to be self-motivated when it comes to playing D, because the 2012-13 version of Kevin Garnett isn’t the same as the 2007-08 version that helped to change the culture and bring a 17th title to Boston.
This KG is a little older, a little more brittle. Everyone on this team needs to focus on the defensive end of the court, regardless of whether KG is there or not.
Simple as that.
And we’ll get our first look at that commitment on October 30 in Miami. We’ll get to see whether Jeff Green can really bring it at multiple positions. We’ll get a good look at what Coutney Lee means to the team’s perimeter D. Is Jared Sullinger going to play with the same dogged determination that he’s displayed throughout the preseason?
Let’s hope so, because it’s going to take a Herculean effort for our Celtics to climb to the NBA mountaintop this season.
And the D is the key.